Here’s what’s happening on the ground at the World Economic Forum in Davos, via PRWeek editorial director Steve Barrett: There’s a general consensus that there are fewer people than normal at Davos this year, despite it being the WEF’s 50th anniversary. There’s also some dissatisfaction with what’s being seen as a slightly outdated WEF program lacking in diversity. As impeachment got underway in Washington, President Donald Trump largely stuck to his stump script but gave interviews to CNBC and other media. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink again released his annual letter to shareholders and clients, but this time focused on the "defining" issue of climate change, arguing that climate risk is an investment risk.
Audi has switched up its agency roster, replacing AOR Rogers & Cowan/PMK with a roster of four agencies focused on specific areas. Audi chief communications officer Tara Rush cited unprecedented change facing the sector and told pitching agencies, "On a scale of one to 10, my appetite for creative risk-taking is a nine. I think that’s exactly what the auto industry needs right now."
General Motors’ self-driving car unit, Cruise, has rolled out an autonomous vehicle known as the Cruise Origin, which operates sans steering wheel or pedals. It did not provide details on when it would be available or other production specifics. Cruise said last week that it has hired former Edelman Western president Kristine Boyden as chief communications officer.
Goodbye, Fairway. Or not. The New York City grocery chain is reportedly planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and close all 14 of its locations, including its Upper West Side flagship, according to the New York Post. The chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016. Update: Fairway has disputed the Post's story, saying it has no intention to file for Chapter 7 or close stores. The Post has published a followup stating that the chain is in discussions to keep some stores open.
More bad news for Boeing. The company has temporarily halted production of the problem-marred 737 Ma. The company is also reportedly concerned that it will not get Federal Aviation Administration permission until this summer for the 737 Max to take to the air again. In Davos, President Trump called Boeing a "very disappointing company."
This story was updated on January 22 with new information about Fairway.