business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “Ben & Jerry’s, the ice-cream maker known for its social advocacy as much as its chunk-filled flavors, has a new chief executive who is promising to ramp up the brand’s corporate activism. Matthew McCarthy, a food-business veteran of Unilever, which bought Ben & Jerry’s in 2000, succeeds Jostein Solheim as CEO.”

Solheim, the Journal notes, “is moving into a broader role overseeing all of (Unilever’s) food and refreshment businesses in North America.”

According to the story, McCarthy “plans to amplify the brand’s tradition of promoting environmental sustainability and advocating for social causes while promoting its ice cream flavors. Over the next few months, he said, the company will unveil new initiatives.

“Many people are feeling a tremendous lack of trust in [public] institutions around them,” he says. “We need organizations, including businesses, to step forward more than ever.”

Love Ben & Jerry’s. Love the ice cream. Love the activism. Makes my heart, which came of age in the late sixties and seventies, go pitter-pat.

CNBC reports that Wendy’s is selling its 12.3 percent stake in Arby’s for $450 million, to Inspire Brands, owned by Roark Capital.

The story notes that “Wendy's/Arby's sold Arby's in 2011 to hedge fund Roark Capital for about for about $130 million, retaining an 18.5 percent stake worth about $30 million at the time. The stake got diluted to 12.3 percent after Arby's bought Buffalo Wild Wings earlier this year, following which a holding company, Inspire Brands, was formed.”
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