There were a few business stories that made me chuckle this week. Come along and let me know if you think they're funny too.
1. And your new CEO is ...
Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS ) had a shakeup at the top this week, with its outgoing CEO replaced by William Lynch -- the head of the superstore's online retailing division.
Let me see if I have this straight. Barnes & Noble is fading in relevancy with every passing year. The emergence of digital books will make bound books -- and the superstores that sell them -- even less popular in the future. Barnes & Noble has stumbled with its Nook e-reader, and it may not even be a factor once Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPad battles Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN ) Kindle for market superiority.
Barnes & Noble needs to scale back costs -- and consider aggressive store closings -- and there's now a banner that reads "Will Lynch for CEO" out there.
2. Where in the world is Garmin San Diego?
GPS giant Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN ) is asking shareholders to approve the move of its corporate headquarters from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland.
We're talking about a roughly 5,000-mile move, for Garmin to have a more visible presence in Europe. Let's hope that all those affected have Garmin GPS devices to find their way to the new legal HQ.
3. The Kinko's Conspiracy
When legal teams pen blog entries for their company sites it's usually more ho-hum than John Grisham. However, Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) YouTube is letting Viacom (NYSE: VIA ) have it without holding back on the flavor.
Viacom is suing YouTube for allowing users to upload clips from its cable networks. YouTube's chief counsel -- Zahavah Levine -- is throwing out some pretty meaty accusations. Here are the two most scintillating paragraphs of the allegations.
For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.
Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.
So Viacom is being accused of doctoring clips, running off to upload them from the nearest Kinko's using bogus YouTube accounts, only to sue YouTube because they're there? Stay close, Grisham. I think you can work with this.
Which news story amused you this week? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.