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Facebook: Kenneth Chenault won’t replace Mark Zuckerberg as chairman

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Kenneth Chenault and Mark ZuckerbergKenneth Chenault and Mark Zuckerberg.Getty

  • Facebook has killed speculation that Kenneth Chenault is about to become its first independent chairman.
  • Chenault, the former CEO of American Express, sparked the rumors after stepping down from the boards of IBM and Procter & Gamble, while retaining his board role at Facebook.
  • Facebook declined to comment initially, but later said he will serve the board in the “same capacity.”
  • It comes amid huge pressure from independent Facebook shareholders for the company to break up Mark Zuckerberg’s dual role as CEO and chairman.

Facebook has killed speculation that it is about to fire Mark Zuckerberg as chairman and replace him with US business grandee, Kenneth Chenault.

Chenault, the former chairman and CEO of American Express, stepped down from board positions at IBM and Procter & Gamble on Thursday, but retained his director role at Facebook.

The timing of the events, and the fact that Facebook is now Chenault’s only posting at a major US company, sparked speculation that he could be about to be installed as Facebook’s chairman.

Read more: Mark Zuckerberg’s spectacular failure of leadership shows why some Facebook investors are desperate to fire him

It comes amid huge pressure from independent Facebook shareholders, some with stakes worth billions, for the company to break up Zuckerberg’s dual role as CEO and chairman.

Investors believe this will help make Zuckerberg more accountable, following a disastrous year for the firm, which has been blighted by scandals including the giant Cambridge Analytica data breach.

Initially, Facebook did little to extinguish speculation that Chenault will become the firm’s first independent chairman by declining to comment on the matter. But later, the company stopped the rumors in their tracks.

A spokeswoman told reporters: “Ken will continue to serve on our board in the same capacity.” Business Insider has contacted Facebook for comment.

Chenault joined the Facebook board in January this year. At the time of his appointment, Zuckerberg said he had been trying to recruit him for years, adding that Facebook could learn much from his customer service expertise and experience in “building a trusted brand.”

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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