Chris Gobble leaving Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce for Nashville PR firm

Chris Gobble leaving Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce for Nashville PR firm

June 26th, 2019 by Staff and Wire Reports in Business Around the Region

Chris Gobble

Chris Gobble

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

Chris Gobble, who has served as senior director of public policy for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce for the past year, is joining the Stones River Group in Nashville as part of the company's government relations team.

Prior to Gobble's tenure in Chattanooga, he was the legislative and policy director for the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

"I'm honored to join the SRG team and look forward to supporting the firm's impressive portfolio of work," Gobble said. "SRG is a recognized and widely-respected leader in the public affairs arena, and I'm eager to use my experience to advance clients' government relations goals and encourage continued success."

Originally from Bradley County, Gobble is a graduate of Lipscomb University and he lives in West Nashville.

Mark Cate, SRG principal and president, said Gobble's "substantial legislative experience and policy knowledge" make him an effective advocate" for SRG's clients.

 

Apple buys more self-driving software

Apple has bought a struggling self-driving car startup as the iPhone maker continues to explore the potential market for robotic vehicles, despite recently curtailing its work on the technology.

The Cupertino, California, company confirmed its acquisition of Drive.ai Wednesday without disclosing the price. A recent filing with California labor regulators disclosed that Drive.ai planned to close its doors this Friday, laying off 90 workers .

Apple didn't say whether its deal included the engineers who were set to lose their jobs with Drive.ai. Apple trimmed the size of its own self-driving car division in January when it reportedly eliminated more than 200 jobs in the division.

The deal gives Apple the rights to Drive.ai technology deployed in self-driving vans that had been giving short-distance rides in two Texas cities, Arlington and Frisco.

Uber, meanwhile, confirmed Wednesday that it acquired a self-driving technology company called Mighty AI. As part of that deal, 40 employees from Mighty AI's Seattle office will work at the ride-hailing giant's Seattle engineering facility.

 

Chattanooga-based Hutton to build Pigeon Forge center

Chattanooga-based Hutton, in a joint venture with Riverwalk Park LLC., is building a 90,000-square-foot shopping center in Pigeon Forge anchored by Food City and a national value oriented soft goods retailer.

The new complex is projected to open next spring next to the LeConte Center and across from the Cal Ripken Experience. Hutton's development partners, Kevin Jennings and Jamey Flegal, said the project was supported by the the Industrial Development Board of Pigeon Forge.

Hutton is a self-managed real estate, development and capital investment company with a portfolio of over 3.5 million square feet and provides capital investments, development, construction, and asset management services to third parties. The company has completed over 1,060 projects in 36 states.

 

French charge Google with privacy violations

A leading French consumer group filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday accusing Google of violating the European Union's landmark 2018 privacy rules.

In its filing in a Paris administrative court, the consumer group UFC Que Choisir is seeking $1,135 in damages for each of the 200 Google users involved so far. It's among the first cases challenging tech giants over their application of the EU's new rules, known as the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR.

Google defended its practices, saying in a statement it has "high standards for transparency and consent" and "we provide helpful information and easy-to-use privacy controls in our products."

The consumer group says Google's confidentiality rules are more than 1,000 lines long, and do not meet GDPR requirements to make it easy for users to block Google from things like tracking user's location or sending targeted ads.

France's privacy watchdog CNIL ordered Google earlier this year to pay a fine of 50 million euros based on a similar complaint, which helped lead to the class-action litigation. Google is appealing the CNIL decision.