Eight months and $16B later, Facebook now owns WhatsApp

Gigaom

For the last eight months we may all have been operating under the assumption that WhatsApp had become a key component of Facebook’s global messaging strategy, but until Monday, Facebook didn’t officially own the company. A filing with the SEC on Monday makes WhatsApp the legal property of Facebook, finalizing the $16 billion cash-and-stock acquisition.

WhatsApp founder and CEO Jan Koum will remain CEO of WhatsApp, but he will also take a place on Facebook’s board. Like Mark Zuckerberg, Koum will only draw a $1 annual salary and won’t be eligible for a Facebook’s bonus program. Instead he gets 24,853,468 restricted shares of [company]Facebook[/company] stock, which is more than half of the 46 million restricted shares awarded to WhatsApp employees.

Koum’s shares in Facebook will vest over the next four years as long as he stays with the company. At Facebook’s current price they would be worth about $1.9…

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With HP and eBay breakups already underway, could Cisco be next?

Gigaom

CEO John Chambers has said he wants Cisco to be the biggest IT provider in the universe. RBC Capital Markets Analyst Mark Sue thinks Chambers should break it up instead.

Given that [company]Hewlett-Packard[/company] is already bifurcating itself into an enterprise company and a PC-and-printer vendor, [company]eBay[/company] is breaking out PayPal as a separate entity, and Elliott Management is pushing EMC to spin out VMware, it’s clear that big companies are under tremendous pressure to “maximize shareholder value” by breaking themselves apart.

Sue’s take is that splitting up [company]Cisco[/company] could push the stock to $40 per share or more for the first time in 14 years and unlock value in high-growth areas including the internet of things, wireless and security arenas. “eBay, [company]Agilent[/company], JDSU and even HP this morning get high marks from investors for their ability to adapt to a changing world,” Sue wrote.

His take is that Cisco could put its traditional networking hardware —…

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Facebook’s shuttle bus drivers want a union to protect them

Gigaom

This weekend, the Teamsters labor union sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, asking to represent the drivers who schlep Facebook employees to and from the campus every day. The union claims that it was writing “on behalf of the bus drivers who pick up Facebook employees from San Francisco, Palo Alto, and a number of other destinations.”

The letter highlights the fact that Facebook drivers aren’t leading the coddled, cushy lives of the rest of the so-called tech elite. The drivers aren’t officially Facebook employees — they’re contractors working for a separate organization, Loop Transportation. In the letter, the Teamsters said the paltry pay is unacceptable. But drivers told The New York Times that the real problem isn’t the pay — it’s the 15-hour workday.

The drivers make roughly $20 an hour, and most of them can’t afford to live in the expensive Menlo Park neighborhood around Facebook’s campus. It takes awhile for them to commute home…

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