The big four


PwC U.K. drops landlines for mobile phones

Staff at PwC in the United Kingdom are expected to switch from landlines to mobile phones at the end of summer in a bid to be more efficient, reported BBC News. With the exception of meeting rooms, reception and security use, all landlines at office desks are to be removed. “With landline usage falling rapidly, we believe that a more mobile-focused policy is a more efficient way of working,” said a PwC spokesperson. He added that many staff members have already moved away from using their landlines. The number of landline numbers at businesses in the U.K. had fallen 35 percent to 6.4 million by the end of last year, down from 10 million in 2010, according to Ofcom.

EY U.K. bins single-use cups

Plastic cups and single-use paper cups will be banned across all EY offices in the United Kingdom by the end of the year, as the firm aims to tackle pollution and environmental damage. The use of plastic cutlery and catering consumables will also be banned, in an attempt to reduce the firm’s consumption of single-use plastic items by more than 7.7 million pieces per year, according to Caroline Artis, EY’s Senior London Partner and environmental lead. “Feedback from our people has highlighted that plastic pollution is one of their biggest environmental concerns and I am so proud of this initiative supporting our continued efforts to build a better working world,” she said.

Pinterest pins IPO plans

Social media company Pinterest is getting close to US$1 billion in advertising revenue, as it targets an initial public offering (IPO) in the second quarter of 2019, CNBC reported. Having achieved US$500 million in ad sales in 2017, the company is on track to double that this year, people familiar with the matter told CNBC. The company has a current valuation of US$13 billion-US$15 billion, based on secondary market trading, multiple people say. It could join high-valued and high-profile consumer start-ups that are aiming to hit the market around the same time, such Uber and Airbnb. Pinterest users “pin” images they like so that followers can view visual boards on subjects such as recipes and design.

A stands for advertising, says Alphabet CFO

Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, reassured investors this month that the company is still spending its money on its core business: advertising, CNBC reported. The American multinational conglomerate beat expectations with a 26 percent gain on its second quarter earnings, however capital spending nearly doubled year-on-year to US$5.5 billion. In the earnings call, Porat said: “I think one of the most important points to underscore [on investment priorities] is that one of the biggest opportunities for investment continues to be in our ads business where we’re continuing to invest meaningfully given the opportunity set that we see there.”

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