Hot Topics

Business moves fast in the 21st century. Smith Brain Trust can help you keep pace with bite-sized business insights on the latest headlines. With expertise in nearly every industry and region, we can point you to the news you need to know and explain why it matters. Check this feed for regular updates, and follow us on Twitter @SmithBrainTrust.

Jun 30, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

It looks like Facebook has been sending friend requests to Hollywood. The social media giant has reportedly been talking with Hollywood studios and agencies about creating original television content to launch on the social-media platform by late summer. And this could be a big deal. The news comes as Facebook has crossed another stunning milestone, notching 2 billion active monthly users. With that kind of reach, Facebook's original programming would seem destined to be an instant smash success. Consider this: Netflix only has about 100 million monthly users worldwide. The Smith School's P.K. Kannan explains the impact that Facebook could have on the already-crowded field of streaming entertainment....

Jun 29, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

The White HouseWhen Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited with President Donald Trump this week, much of the coverage was about the Rose Garden handshake-turned-hug. But visit contained far more substance, from terrorism to trade to visas. Experts from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business were watching closely. They offer the following insights. Read more...

Jun 29, 2017

Children don't care about supply chain challenges when they want a new toy, which is fine with Peter Gibbons. As executive vice president and chief global supply chain officer at Mattel, he works to stay hidden — so all retail customers see is the right product at the right price on store shelves. "It's not an easy profession, but it's exciting because you're the machine behind the scenes," he says in episode 3 of Beyond Business, a podcast series hosted by Smith School professor Gary Cohen. Gibbons shares five keys that have guided his career. Read more...

Jun 26, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Considering getting an MBA? It might be the best investment you ever make, says Michael Faulkender, associate dean for master's programs and professor of finance at the Smith School. "Whether things are stagnant or booming, obtaining a skillset that will enable you to make a leadership contribution is always a good idea," says Faulkender, speaking recently to online magazine GoodCall. Read more...

Jun 23, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

For Blue Apron, Amazon's blockbuster deal to acquire Whole Foods couldn't have come at a worse time, says Smith School marketing professor Jie Zhang. The New York-based meal-kit delivery service was just beginning the marketing for its initial public offering, in which it hopes to raise more than $500 million, when Amazon.com Inc. announced the $13.7 billion deal that could upend the food-retail industry. Suddenly, all the talk among analysts and prospective investors has turned to Amazon, the 431 Whole Foods locations, the grocery chain's distribution network, and how CEO Jeff Bezos might reshape how Americans shop for food....

Jun 16, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

The U.S. grocery industry is bracing for a shakeup, and a potential price war, as one German supermarket chain seeks to make its debut and another looks to expand its reach. German grocery chain Aldi says it will invest $3.4 billion to broaden its U.S. footprint, adding 900 new stores by 2022. German rival Lidl, meanwhile, is opening its first U.S. stores this month, with plans to open 100 by next summer. The added competition in the low-margin world of grocery sales comes as food prices for the U.S. are under pressure, falling for 17 straight months. And it comes at a time of continued price-sensitivity for many Americans. Experts from the Smith School explain how Aldi and Lidl and their "no frills" hard-discount business...

Jun 14, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

It's an idea that has, at various points, had support from both major political parties. And it's already been done in many major industrialized countries. So what's so difficult about privatizing air traffic control here in the United States? Nearly everything, says the Smith School's Michael Ball. Air traffic control has long been government-run for several reasons. There's the fact that it involves the use of a public good, the national airspace. And there's the overriding public concern for safety. But there are also potential advantages from taking air traffic control out of the direct control of the government, says Ball....

Jun 14, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

What happens to a company when a CEO takes a leave of absence? It's a question Uber Technologies must now face, as chief executive Travis Kalanick begins a hiatus of unspecified length from the $68-billion ride-hailing company he co-founded. The embattled CEO announced this week he would stepping down temporarily, citing the need to work on his own leadership skills and to grieve the recent death of his mother. At the same time, the board of directors announced a series of changes it would make to address the company's toxic work culture, including a reduced role for its CEO. It's a rebuke of Kalanick and the renegade management style he embraced as Uber upended ground transportation in cities around the world. Smith...

Jun 13, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Why would someone fork over a couple of million dollars just to sit down for a meal with Warren Buffett? "It's not so much about investing insights. It's significantly about meeting the man," says the Smith School's David Kass. The legendary investor "has gravitas like no other investor," Kass says. That's why bids climbed to $2.7 million in the 18th annual Warren Buffett Power Lunch auction, which raises money for charity. Kass has followed Buffett's investing and philosophy closely for about 35 years. He has also accompanied Smith MBAs to meet privately with the Berkshire Hathaway chairman multiple times. He explains what one gains from a meeting with the Oracle of Omaha....

Jun 12, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Americans are known to be good at many things. Vacationing isn't one of them. Year after year, workplace surveys reveal that millions of American workers failed to take their allotted vacation days. And increasingly, the overriding reason is fear. In 2016, 54 percent of Americans ended the year with unused vacation days, according to a survey from the U.S. Travel Association's Project Time Off. The Smith School's J. Gerald Suarez explains why the short-term benefits that might come from being in the office all year long could come at the expense of long-term failures. Are we hurting our careers by not occasionally taking breaks from it?...

Pages

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742