SoulCycle's CEO was pushed out of the company in 2019 after expensing $5,100 worth of Christian Dior bags, former employees said

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The Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion stimulus offer is receiving significant backlash from both Democrats and Senate Republicans, Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported, dampening the odds of a government rescue package.

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A culture war at SoulCycle

From Katie Warren and Jeff Elder:

In the summer of 2019, Melanie Whelan, the CEO of SoulCycle, purchased two Dior bags — a book tote for herself and a backpack for Patrick Ryan-Southern — on the company credit card for $5,100. Ryan-Southern, the managing director of international markets, was known as one of Whelan’s “favorites,” former staffers said.

The bag was a thank-you for his role in opening SoulCycle’s London studio, Ryan-Southern told Business Insider. And the generous gift didn’t go unnoticed.

The staffers said Whelan was repeatedly asked to produce a receipt for the purchase after they say the CEO attempted to pass the two bags off as one big gift for Ryan-Southern.

Whelan denied allegations of misleading the company, and said that she was never pressured to produce a receipt.

But the apparent deception unraveled the board’s faith in Whelan, the former corporate employee said.

Read the full story here:


The truth about gummy vitamins

Gummy Vitamins

From Rachel Premack:

Robert Shmerling’s patients eat too much candy. They think it’s good for them.

That candy — colorful, chewy, shaped like orange slices and teddy bears  — is the gummy vitamin. Shmerling, who’s been a rheumatologist in the Boston area for three decades and is a professor at Harvard Medical School, said some of his patients were taking a dozen supplements, gummy or otherwise, every day.

“Half of them, they’re not even sure what it’s for,” he said.

It’s not the sugar in each vitamin that concerns him, although with an average of 3 grams a serving, it adds up. Rather, Shmerling thinks his patients should simply eat better. Instead of, say, buying a $55 pack of gummies made with blue algae, wheatgrass, barley, and other veggies, they should probably just eat their veggies.

Read the full story here:


A wild scandal at VW

The current Volkswagen brand boss, Ralf Brandstätter, was in charge of the Prevent case. The current Volkswagen brand boss, Ralf Brandstätter, was in charge of the Prevent case.

From Philip Kaleta, Jan C. Wehmeyer, Kayhan Özgenc, and Qayyah Moynihan at Business Insider Deutschland:

Business Insider Deutschland investigated the tactics of Project 1, a group set up to try to extricate Volkswagen from its relationship with Prevent, a supplier it was feuding with. 

Project 1’s secret strategy meetings about the conflict with Prevent had apparently been bugged. Between 2017 and 2018, 50 hours of strategy discussions over at least 35 occasions had been recorded. These recordings were eventually leaked to a source, who then shared them with Business Insider Deutschland.

The name of the new chairman of Volkswagen’s board, Ralf Brandstätter, is mentioned multiple times in the recordings, while others in the recording discussed using the political connections of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to their advantage.

The leak set off a search for the mole, and in July Volkswagen identified a manager it said was responsible.

A month later that former Volkswagen employee was found dead in a burned-out car.

Read the full story here:


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— Matt


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