Ten things PR pros need to know Wednesday morning, 10.29.2014

Sanofi fires its CEO; Whisper chief defends app's privacy standards; Why Facebook shares tanked despite growth.

1. French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi fired CEO Christopher Viehbacher on Wednesday morning. Its chairman, Serge Weinberg, who is taking over as chief executive on an interim basis, blamed a "lack of trust in Viehbacher’s relationship with the company’s board." One day earlier, Viehbacher played down talk of him leaving the company, according to The Wall Street Journal.

2. The Kansas City Royals romped over the San Francisco Giants 10-0 on Tuesday night, forcing a decisive game seven of the World Series tonight. (It also means White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s friendly bet with his counterpart in Vice President Joe Biden’s office will come down to one game). History is on the Royals’ side, according to CBS News.

3. Whisper CEO Michael Heyward addressed media reports that his company’s anonymous gossip app tracks the location of its users for the first time on Tuesday at the WSJ.D Live conference. He contended Whisper does not track users except in rare situations, such as when they appear to be a threat to others or themselves.

4. A Deloitte study has found that a majority of consumers (56%) plan to shop at retailers this holiday season that have experienced a data breach, though 42% say they are concerned about doing so.

5. Facebook reported strong revenue and profit growth in the third quarter on Tuesday, despite a heavy first-year loss on its WhatsApp acquisition, but its shares were down 11% after hours. What gives? CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed how his company plans to continue to spend heavily, giving investors jitters.

6. Wikipedia, which has tussled with the PR industry a few times in recent years over editing standards and practices, is planning to focus more on mobile growth, Wikimedia Foundation executive director Lila Tretikov said Tuesday evening at the Code/Mobile conference.

7. Spending by business political action committees has shifted dramatically to the Republicans this midterm election cycle. Surprisingly, businesses are also throwing their clout behind non-incumbent candidates, a shift from previous elections, according to The Wall Street Journal.

8. Monica Lewinsky has hired a PR representative, Dini von Mueffling, as she attempts to become a spokesperson against cyberbullying. BuzzFeed described von Muffling as a "public relations hand, philanthropist, and society figure about town in New York City."

9. Senators from the New York metropolitan area castigated Metro-North Rail Road for its safety record on Tuesday. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said five incidents on the commuter line show it is a "horror house of negligence, resulting in injury, mayhem, and even death."

10. Lexington, North Carolina, has hired New York-based firm Lou Hammond and Associates to tout it as a tourism destination. Santa Fe, New Mexico, retained the firm for tourism work in July after a review involving 15 agencies. 

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