Facebook, Twitter Pull Out of SXSW; Former GE CEO Jack Welch Dies at 84: Tuesday’s First Things First

Plus, Orangina is making a comeback in North America

The drink is now available in three kinds of packaging, including the iconic glass bottle. Felicia Perry Trujillo, Food Seen
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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Coronavirus Updates: Facebook and Twitter Pull Out of SXSW

Twitter announced Sunday that it was suspending all noncritical business travel and events, which included CEO Jack Dorsey’s scheduled return to South by Southwest, due to coronavirus. The company notified employees that the suspension would remain in place “until the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deem it appropriate to step back from pandemic precautionary measures, or when a vaccine becomes available.”

Facebook followed Twitter’s lead, pulling out of SXSW and limiting travel by employees. It comes on the heels of Facebook’s decision to cancel its F8 developer conference, which was set to be held in May.

Local residents of Austin, Texas are pressuring the city to cancel the conference, fearing travelers could bring the virus to the city. As of late Monday, more than 25,000 people signed a petition to cancel the conference.

A number of cancellations took place on Monday:

Read more: See a full list of cancellations and impacts.

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch Has Died at 84

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric who oversaw the company’s enormous growth under a strategy that focused on rooting out bureaucratic inefficiencies, died late Sunday at age 84. Welch is known largely for his business savviness—GE grew from $4 billion to $410 billion under his leadership, according to CNBC. In a nod to his success, Fortune Magazine gave him the title, “Manager of the Century” in 1999. Welch also helped launch CNBC in 1989.

Read more: Welch’s strategies included a constant push to improve the efficiency of his company.

Levi’s Enacts ‘Industry-Leading’ Family Paid Leave Policy

In an expansion of its family leave policy, Levi Strauss and Co. now guarantees eight weeks of paid leave for certain workers in situations where their family members require extra care. The new policy will apply to about half of the company’s U.S. staff, allowing workers to take off two weeks at a time to take care of family members in need. For retail, which often lags behind in terms of worker benefits, the new policy is considered an “industry-leading approach.”

Read more: The change was a response to “strong feedback” from workers who expressed the need for this kind of benefit.

Orangina Plots a Comeback in North America, With New Owners and An Old Recipe

The fizzy, citrus-flavored beverage Orangina is back in the U.S. and Canada with its original 1936 recipe. The iconic glass, pear-shaped bottle has returned too, along with two new designs, which are being tested to meet consumer and retailer demands. The brand’s new owner, Venture Food and Beverage (VFB), will roll out a three-year plan to reinvent the drink and create a new category of beverages, dubbed sparkling juice.

Read more: The strategic plan includes developing its social media presence and working with microinfluencers, among other tactics.

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News & Insights

Ad of the Day: Nutella Takes Aim at Syrup, Declares Itself the Superior Pancake Topping

Nutella is arguing that it’s the best pancake topping. Timed to National Pancake Day and Fat Tuesday on Feb. 25, Nutella launched a two-week campaign that encourages U.S. consumers to ditch syrup for its hazelnut cocoa spread as their pancake topping of choice.


@JessZafarris jessica.farris@adweek.com Jess Zafarris (née Jessica Farris) is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.
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