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The world’s most profitable companies and who is behind them

Apple inc headquarters building

Profitability serves as a crucial indicator of a company’s success and financial strength. In today’s dynamic global economy, certain companies have consistently showcased exceptional profitability.

Let’s delve into some of the world’s most profitable companies and the visionary leaders who have played a pivotal role in their success.


CEO: Tim Cook

Apple is a trailblazer in the technology industry, stands out as one of the most profitable companies globally.

Guided by the visionary leadership of Tim Cook, who assumed the role of CEO in 2011, Apple has continued to dominate the market.

Cook’s strategic acumen, relentless pursuit of innovation, and dedication to product excellence have propelled Apple’s profitability to unprecedented heights.

Cook earned £99.4 million for his role in 2022.

Read more: Twitter head of content moderation quits after Elon Musk’s criticism

Saudi Aramco

CEO: Amin Nasser

Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, reigns supreme in the energy sector, consistently delivering remarkable profitability. Amin Nasser, serving as the CEO, has been instrumental in driving the company’s success.

Nasser’s unwavering commitment to operational efficiency, technological advancements, and sustainable practices has enabled Saudi Aramco to maintain its position as a global leader.

The company made the biggest profit of any company in the world in 2022.


Founder: Jeff Bezos

The founder of Amazon, has revolutionized the retail industry and transformed his brainchild into one of the world’s most profitable companies.

Bezos’ relentless pursuit of customer-centric strategies, emphasis on long-term growth, and diversification into various sectors have been instrumental in Amazon’s remarkable financial performance.

His visionary approach has propelled the company beyond traditional retail, expanding its reach into cloud computing, entertainment, and artificial intelligence.

Read more: Indian engineering services providers thrive during global IT slowdown


CEO: Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft since 2014, has spearheaded a remarkable transformation, significantly boosting the company’s profitability.

Nadella’s strategic focus on cloud computing services, revitalizing product offerings, and fostering a culture of innovation has propelled Microsoft’s resurgence.

Under his leadership, Microsoft has experienced unprecedented growth and profitability, solidifying its position as a global technology powerhouse.

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These companies represent a fraction of the world’s most profitable enterprises, and their success is attributed to the visionary leaders at the helm.

The strategic thinking, innovation, and customer-centricity demonstrated by these leaders have been instrumental in driving their companies’ profitability to new heights.

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Their ability to navigate complex market dynamics and lead with foresight has set them apart as true visionaries.

The world’s most profitable companies owe their success to the visionary leaders who have steered them on a path of sustainable growth. Through their strategic acumen, innovation, and unwavering commitment, these leaders have transformed industries and set new benchmarks for profitability.

Their legacies serve as inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders worldwide, emphasizing the significance of visionary thinking and bold decision-making in achieving unparalleled success.

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CBI faces crucial vote over its future after misconduct allegations


The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is facing a pivotal vote that will determine the fate of the business lobby group, as it seeks to regain credibility and rebuild relationships following a period of scandal.

 The CBI’s director general, Rain Newton-Smith, will make a plea to members to approve a package of reforms at an extraordinary general meeting in London.

The proposed reforms, developed after a month of consultation, aim to address allegations of misconduct and a toxic culture within the organization.

Read More: Crisis-hit CBI plans job cuts to reduce costs after misconduct allegations

Media reports had highlighted instances of misconduct, including rape allegations, which led to the dismissal of the former director general, Tony Danker.

The ensuing storm prompted an investigation by the City of London Police and the suspension of engagement with the CBI by both the government and the opposition.

Several prominent companies also withdrew their membership.

Read More: CBI to search for new president as it plans to overhaul working culture

During the meeting, Newton-Smith will express her confidence in the proposed changes and emphasize the importance of a renewed CBI.

She acknowledges the challenging journey ahead but is determined to lead the transformation and restore the organization’s health.

Members will be asked to vote on whether the proposed changes give them the necessary confidence to support the CBI.

Read More: CBI sacks its director general after investigation into misconduct allegations

The outcome of the vote, expected to be announced later in the day, will determine the future direction of the CBI.

A majority vote in favor of the motion will provide Newton-Smith with a mandate to implement reforms, rebuild relationships, and regain credibility.

However, if the motion fails, the CBI’s future will be uncertain.

Read More: Audit giant Ernst & Young pulls secondee out of crisis-hit CBI business

The organization has already sought advice on winding up procedures, considering the impact of decreased membership payments and a recent redundancy program.

The vote’s outcome remains uncertain, as there is widespread agreement on the importance of a strong representative voice for businesses across sectors.

Other business groups have attempted to fill the void, with the British Chambers of Commerce launching a new Business Council.

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However, supporters of the CBI argue that its expertise and experience are unmatched and should be preserved if concerns over the organization’s culture are addressed.

Some companies that previously terminated their membership are keeping an open mind but remain well-served by industry-specific trade bodies and direct engagement with the government.

Aviva and NatWest have indicated no plans to change their position, while firms that suspended engagement are reviewing the proposed reforms and awaiting the vote’s outcome.

The decision on whether the government will resume engagement with the CBI is expected to be made by Downing Street, granting the Prime Minister significant leverage over an organization that has historically opposed Brexit and challenged successive administrations.

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SEC sues Binance for alleged illegal use of customer funds


The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Binance – the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange – claiming violations of US securities regulations. 

Federal regulators have filed 13 charges against the company and its founder Changpeng Zhao. 

The SEC claims that Binance and Zhao commingled billions of dollars worth of user funds and transferred them to a European company he controlled.

Read More: Former Coinbase manager settles SEC insider trading charges

It is claimed the company deliberately evaded their own controls to allow high net worth US investors to trade on Binance’s unregulated international exchange. 

The complaint highlights instances where Binance executives referred to the company as an unlicensed securities exchange in the US.

The SEC alleges that Binance created Binance.US as a shield to protect the main company and Zhao from law enforcement scrutiny. 

Former CEOs of Binance.US, Catherine Coley and Brian Brooks, expressed concerns about Zhao’s level of control. 

One former CEO testified before federal regulators, stating that they realized the company’s mission was not what they had signed up for and subsequently left.

Read More: Judge rejects privacy lawsuit against Meta 

The SEC claims Binance earned $11.6 billion in revenue, primarily from transaction fees, between June 2018 and July 2021. 

It alleges despite knowing tens of thousands of US customers were using the platform, Binance allegedly failed to take action to comply with federal laws governing the offer and sale of securities. 

The SEC alleges that Binance’s compliance efforts in 2019 were largely superficial.

The SEC also accuses Zhao of ordering the creation of an evasion plan for high-net-worth customers.

It has involved using VPN services to hide their US location and submitting compliance documents to obscure their country of origin. 

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The SEC further alleges Binance and Zhao used market-making companies they controlled to manipulate trading prices and profit from customers.

In response to the charges, Zhao dismissed them on Twitter, using the popular Binance community refrain of “4” to urge users to ignore fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). 

Binance issued a blog post expressing disappointment in the SEC’s complaint and claiming the company has cooperated with the SEC’s investigations.

The SEC Chair, Gary Gensler, said charges against Binance and Zhao reveal a “blatant disregard” for federal law.

He accused them of deception, conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure, and calculated evasion of regulations.

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Spotify to cut 200 jobs in podcasting division


Spotify is to conduct another round of layoffs, this time affecting two percent of its workforce, around 200 jobs.

It highlights ongoing challenges in the podcast industry’s profitability.

Sahar Elhabashi, VP and head of podcast business, said the cuts will impact the podcast vertical and other functions as it seeks to reorganize the unit to focus on partnerships with its top creators.

Read More: Meta targets business divisions in latest job cuts

She said Spotify will merge its podcast studios and Gimlet into a revitalized entity called Spotify Studios. 

Podcasting has experienced immense popularity over the past five years, capturing the attention of young, educated, and affluent listeners. 

The acquisition of Gimlet, Parcast, and the Ringer by Spotify ignited a competition among media and tech companies such as iHeart, Sirius, Amazon, and Audacy.

This restructuring follows another round of layoffs at Spotify. 

In January, the company announced plans to axe approximately 600 employees, or six percent of its workforce.

Read More: Spotify becomes the latest tech company to announce job cuts

It was part of broader cost-cutting measures after significant spending during the pandemic.

During last year’s investor day, the firm unveiled an ambitious plan to reach one billion listeners by 2030 and generate $100 billion in annual revenue with a 40 percent gross margin.

Executives expressed optimism podcasts would become profitable by 2024.

While prioritizing growth and investment, Spotify has struggled to turn a profit consistently. 

Since 2019, the company has invested over $1 billion in podcast deals. 

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One of Spotify’s objectives in podcasting is to monetize its shows and expand its advertising revenue by selling ads across other networks and publishers. 

The company has heavily invested in its ad business, developing technology to insert streaming ads for more accurate tracking and creating its own ad marketplace, enabling advertisers to target specific audiences rather than individual shows.

Spotify has recently moved away from exclusivity arrangements for some podcasts, opting to distribute them across various platforms. 

This strategic shift aims to broaden the audience and increase the advertising potential of Spotify’s shows. 

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Hollywood actors could strike as pay row continues

Hollywood sign

The union representing over 160,000 film and TV actors has voted to authorize a potential strike over pay and renewed contracts.

It comes two days before the scheduled negotiations for a new labor deal with Hollywood studios.

98 percent of the SAG-AFTRA has voted in favor of a strike, which came amidst the sixth week of a writers’ strike.

Read More: Directors Guild reaches tentative deal with Hollywood studios

It also happened a day after the Directors Guild of America tentatively agreed to a new contract.

Fran Drescher, the president of the actors’ union, expressed unity and determination.

He said: “Together we lock elbows, and in unity we build a new contract that honors our contributions… and brings ALL our concerns for protections and benefits into the now!”

Approximately 65,000 members participated in the vote, representing 48 percent of eligible voters. 

Read More: Striking Writers Guild presses Comcast and Netflix shareholders to waive massive executive pay

The current agreement between the actors’ union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, negotiating on behalf of the studios, is set to expire on June 30.

The actors’ demands align with those of the Writers Guild of America, including higher wages and increased residual payments for streaming content.

They also demand safeguards against the unauthorized use of actors’ likenesses by artificial intelligence. 

While the Directors Guild reached an agreement acknowledging the limitations of generative AI and the irreplaceability of their members’ duties, specifics were not disclosed.

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The actors’ last strike occurred in 2000 during a dispute over commercial pay, lasting nearly six months.

Negotiations are scheduled to commence on Wednesday, and SAG-AFTRA sees the strike authorization as a position of strength. 

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s chief negotiator, emphasized their willingness to make a deal but insisted on securing what their members deserve. 

He stated, “If a strike is necessary to achieve that, we’re prepared.”

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers intended to negotiate a new agreement that benefits both SAG-AFTRA members and the industry.

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UK civil servants to continue strikes despite improved pay offer from government


Civil servants across the UK are set to continue their strikes, despite an improved pay offer from the government.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union in Northern Ireland will take industrial action on Tuesday, followed by members in Wales on Wednesday.

The PCS said the strikes would continue as they assess the “significant concessions” made in terms of pay, redundancy terms, and job security.

Read More: 100,000 UK civil servants to go on strike over pay, job cuts and pensions

The government claims the offer is the highest in 20 years for civil servants.

The union has been engaging in months of action, including three national walkouts.

Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the PCS, previously emphasized the need for ministers to resolve the dispute by providing a substantial financial offer.

On Friday, the government made a fresh offer in an attempt to break the deadlock. Union leaders revealed civil servants below senior grades had been presented with a lump sum of £1,500 for the period of 2022/23.

Read More: Rishi Sunak abandons plan for massive civil service job cuts

The union welcomed the deal, noting it marked the first time in its history that members secured significant additional funds.

However, the PCS announced that planned targeted action would proceed this month.

Members in the Northern Ireland Office will stage a three-day walkout starting Tuesday, while Audit Wales and the National Museum of Wales will be affected from Wednesday.

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Additionally, employees at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will participate in a 15-day strike from June 11, and driving examiners across 286 test centers in England and Wales will take action from June 15.

The union stated any re-ballots for further action have been put on hold pending the outcome of talks with the government at the end of the month.

Initially, officials had demanded a 10 percent pay rise to address the increasing cost of living, but the government argued meeting their demands would be unaffordable, costing £2.4 billion.

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The PCS regarded the latest offer as a “significant achievement” that provides members with additional funds and brings them in line with other public sector workers, even though it falls short of their full claim.

The government, upon announcing the new offer, mentioned Civil Service pay guidelines allowed departments to award a 4.5 percent pay increase for staff, with a potential additional 0.5 percent increase for lower-paid employees.

Cabinet Office Minister Jeremy Quin expressed constructive engagement with the unions enabled the department to present the £1,500 payment offer.

Mr. Quin said to BBC: “This is both fair to the taxpayer and a recognition of the financial pressures civil servants have faced over the last year,”.

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Cybercriminals hack BBC, British Airways, Boots and Aer Lingus


A massive cyber-attack has hit a number of organisations including the BBC, British Airways, Boots, and Aer Lingus.

Employees have been told personal data, including national insurance numbers and, in some cases, bank details, may have been compromised.

The cybercriminals exploited well-known software to gain unauthorized access to several companies simultaneously.

Read More: WHSmith cyber attack sees employee data stolen

At present, there have been no reports of ransom demands or financial losses resulting from the breach.

Zellis, a payroll services provider in the UK, confirmed data from eight of its client firms had been stolen but did not disclose the specific names.

 Independently, affected organizations have been issuing warnings to their staff members.

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The BBC sent an email to its employees, revealing stolen data included staff ID numbers, dates of birth, home addresses, and national insurance numbers.

Similarly, British Airways cautioned its staff bank details may have been compromised.

The National Cyber Security Centre in the UK has been closely monitoring the situation and has urged organizations using the compromised software to implement necessary security updates.

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The hack was initially disclosed by Progress Software, a US company which revealed hackers had found a vulnerability in their MOVEit Transfer tool.

MOVEit is a widely used software designed to securely transfer sensitive files, with a majority of its customers based in the US.

Progress Software promptly alerted its customers and released a downloadable security update.

The company is working with law enforcement agencies to combat the increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals exploiting vulnerabilities in widely-used software products.

Read More: Google boosts cybersecurity with acquisition of Mandiant

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a warning to firms using MOVEit, instructing them to download a security patch to mitigate further breaches.

However, security researcher Kevin Beaumont discovered through internet scans numerous company databases remain vulnerable as many affected firms have yet to install the fix.

There is an early indication a significant number of prominent organizations have been impacted by the attack.

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Experts speculate cybercriminals may attempt to extort money from the affected organizations rather than individuals.

Although no ransom demands have been publicly disclosed, it is anticipated the hackers will contact the organizations via email to demand payment.

They might threaten to expose the stolen data online, enticing other hackers to exploit it.

Read More: States at disadvantage in the race to recruit cybersecurity professionals

As a precaution, victim organizations are reminding their staff members to remain vigilant against suspicious emails could potentially lead to further cyber-attacks.

While no official attribution has been made, Microsoft believes the criminals responsible are associated with the notorious Cl0p ransomware group, believed to be based in Russia.

The US tech giant attributed the attacks to Lace Tempest, known for conducting ransomware operations and operating the Cl0p extortion website where victim data is published.

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Microsoft noted these hackers have employed similar techniques in previous incidents to steal data and extort victims.

The National Crime Agency confirmed its awareness of a cyber incident impacting several UK-based organizations due to a previously unknown security flaw in MOVEit Transfer.

The agency is actively collaborating with partners to provide support to affected organizations and assess the overall impact on the UK.

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Gannett CEO faces backlash as journalists strike over layoffs and pay issues

Newspaper printing

Hundreds of Gannett journalists have gone on strike, blaming the company’s chief executive for the decline of local newsrooms. 

The walkouts held on Monday, June 5, mark the largest labor action in the company’s century-long history.

Employees from approximately two dozen newsrooms, including The Palm Beach Post, The Arizona Republic, and The Austin American-Statesman, joined the protest. 

Read More: Directors Guild reaches tentative deal with Hollywood studios

Demonstrations were expected to continue in some newsrooms today (Tuesday, June 6).

The coordinated action coincided with Gannett’s annual shareholder meeting on Monday morning. 

The NewsGuild, representing over 1,000 Gannett journalists, sent a letter to shareholders in May urging a vote of no confidence against CEO and Chairman Mike Reed.

The NewsGuild criticized Gannett’s 2019 merger with GateHouse Media, citing the excessive debt burden and a detrimental impact on the company’s future. 

Read More: Striking Writers Guild presses Comcast and Netflix shareholders to waive massive executive pay

The letter also expressed concerns over Reed’s compensation, which amounted to $7.7 million in 2021 and $3.4 million in 2022. 

The union deemed these figures excessive, considering the company’s job cuts and the allegedly low wages offered to remaining journalists. 

Gannett’s stock price has plummeted approximately 70 percent since the merger with GateHouse.

Peter D. Kramer, a reporter for the USA Today Network, said Gannett’s actions have created “news deserts” across the country.

He noted that some reporters have had to seek additional employment to make ends meet or abandon the profession altogether.

Read More: Amazon employees call for better flexibility in latest strike

Gannett spokesperson Lark-Marie Anton said the company “remains committed to our shareholder engagement process and takes all feedback seriously.”

Anton added that the newspaper chain remains focused on investing in local newsrooms and negotiating fairly with the NewsGuild.

During the work stoppage, Gannett assured there would be no disruption to news coverage. 

However, at the shareholder meeting, the board of directors, including CEO Mike Reed, was retained. 

Susan DeCarava, president of the NewsGuild of New York, described this outcome as a “slap in the face” to the striking journalists.

Read More: Popeyes workers strike over alleged child labor violations

After merging with GateHouse, Gannett became the largest newspaper publisher in the country, owning over 200 daily newspapers across 43 states.

However, like many other local news publishers, Gannett has faced declining revenue from advertising and print circulation. 

The heavy debt from the merger has further burdened the company, leading to cost-cutting measures and significant job reductions.

Gannett reported over $1.2 billion in outstanding debt in its first-quarter earnings report this year. 

The company has attempted to alleviate the debt through various cost-cutting measures, including laying off around 6 percent of its media division workforce in December. 

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According to securities filings, Gannett’s workforce has decreased by almost half since November 2019.

Journalists from The Austin American-Statesman, The Arizona Republic, and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel provided examples of newsroom shrinkage.

They stressed the negative consequences for communities left with inadequate coverage. 

The NewsGuild highlighted the urgent need for investment in journalism to support democracy, accusing CEO Mike Reed of prioritizing personal gain over the company’s long-term strategy.

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Byju’s sues Redwood for $1.2 billion over loan acceleration


Byju’s has filed a lawsuit against investment management firm Redwood, challenging the acceleration of a $1.2 billion term loan B facility. 

Byju’s claims Redwood engaged in “predatory tactics” and violated the conditions of the loan facility.

The US company was accused of purchasing a significant portion of the loan while primarily trading in distressed debt. 

Read More: Government sources say BBC may have paid lower taxes in India

The lawsuit was filed in the New York Supreme Court.

Byju’s has also issued a notice to disqualify Redwood entities as a lender with critical rights under the term loan norms once it takes effect. 

The EdTech company said: “We had to take these measures following a series of predatory tactics by the lenders, led by Redwood.”

In March, the lenders allegedly unlawfully accelerated the term loan B, citing certain non-monetary and technical defaults. 

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As a result, they took unwarranted enforcement measures, including seizing control of Byju’s US unit, BYJU’S Alpha, and appointing new management.

Byju’s has decided to withhold further payment to the term loan B providers, including interest until the court resolves the dispute. 

The company seeks a resolution through legal means, aiming to challenge Redwood’s actions and disqualify them as a lender in this case.

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Government sources say BBC may have paid lower taxes in India


Government sources have revealed the BBC could have paid lower taxes in India than its actual liability.

The broadcaster, whose offices in Delhi and Mumbai were subjected to scrutiny by tax authorities a few months ago, has yet to submit revised returns or provide a written submission to the Indian Income Tax Department.

According to a source, this acknowledgment is merely a statement of intent at this point, with no actual payment made.

Read More: BBC objects to Twitter’s ‘government-funded media’ label

The survey conducted by tax authorities involved an examination of the broadcaster’s financial records and related documents.

The survey took place shortly after the BBC aired a controversial documentary about Prime Minister Modi.

In February, without specifically naming the BBC, the income tax department alleged the income and profits disclosed by the organization’s units were disproportionate to their operations’ scale in India.

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The department also stated that the surveys indicated non-payment of tax on certain remittances, which were not reported as income in India by the foreign entities within the BBC group.

At that time, the BBC stated that it was cooperating with the authorities.

When contacted for comment by the Times of India, the BBC’s London office declined to respond.

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