Forbes rates BlueCross BlueShield among nation's best employers

Forbes rates BlueCross BlueShield among nation's best employers

May 15th, 2019 by Staff and Wire Reports in Business Around the Region

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the state's biggest health insurer, was ranked as one of the nation's top employers in a new study by Forbes magazine.

BlueCross in Tennessee, which employs about 6,000 employees including more than 4,300 in Chattanooga where it maintains its headquarters, ranked as the 390th best employer in the country among major employers included in the Forbes study.

Other companies with local employees included on the Forbes list of best employers include Publix, ranked no. 62; Starbucks, ranked No. 94; Keller William Realty, ranked No. 97; Aldi, ranked No. 197; FedEx, ranked No. 202; the state of Tennessee, ranked No. 235; Best Buy, ranked No. 298; Cigna, ranked No. 334; T Mobile, ranked No. 350; IPS, ranked No. 372; BASF, ranked No. 375, and Darden Restaurants, ranked No. 399.

Overall, Forbes said the best employers in the U.S. are, in order, Trader Joe's, Southwest Airlines, Lilly, Costco Wholesale and Garmin.


Consumer watchdog official quits under fire

A Trump administration appointee at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who came under fire after racist comments he wrote years ago resurfaced is leaving the agency.

Eric Blankenstein was appointed in 2018 as CFPB's director for supervision, enforcement and fair lending. It was the last part of his title that became a source of controversy after left-leaning activist groups uncovered blog posts Blankenstein had written a decade ago where he said most hate crimes were hoaxes and that using the n-word doesn't mean someone is racist.

The writings caused considerable controversy inside the bureau. CFPB employees, particularly those in the Office of Fair Lending, said they did not feel comfortable working with Blankenstein. In his defense, Blankenstein said the writings reflected "poor judgment" and did not reflect his views today.


Macy's could feel trade war impact

Macy's customers may finally start to feel the impact of President Donald Trump's trade war with China.

Like many department stores and general merchandise retailers, Macy's had been left largely unscathed by the first several rounds of tariffs since they focused more on industrial and agricultural products. But products like furniture saw an increase in tariffs to 25% last week. And now the administration is preparing to extend the 25% tariffs to practically all Chinese imports not already hit with levies including toys, shirts, household goods and sneakers, which furnish Macy's behemoth stores. That's roughly $300 billion worth of products on top of the $250 billion targeted earlier.

Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette told investors Wednesday the higher levies on furniture will have some impact on the department store business, but it can be mitigated. But he says if the potential fourth wave of tariffs are placed on imports, that could mean higher retail prices for both store label and national brands.

"Looking at all those categories and those brands that are included, it is hard to do the math to find a path that gets you to a place where you don't have a customer impact," Gennette told investors.


Brides magazine sold to Dotdash

The courting of Brides magazine had none of the meet-cutes and grand gestures often described in its glossy pages.

Condé Nast, the publisher of Vogue and The New Yorker, rather unceremoniously put the publication on the market last year as part of a cost-cutting campaign. The online brand Dotdash was among the early suitors, and on Wednesday, the two sides came to an agreement. Neither would disclose the terms of the sale.

"It wasn't like there was crazy bidding at the end," said Neil Vogel, the head of Dotdash, which is part of InterActiveCorp (IAC), the company behind Tinder, Match and OKCupid. "It's clear to us that there wasn't a ton of investment behind this in the last few years."

Dotdash plans to scrap the 85-year-old print magazine and redesign The majority of the editorial staff, including the executive director, Lisa Harman Gooder, will make the move from Condé Nast's lower Manhattan offices to Dotdash's facilities in midtown, the company said.

"We're not buying this for print," Vogel said. "We're buying this for the editorial team and for digital."

Condé Nast, which is owned by Advance Publications, has been getting leaner while moving closer to its digital future, laying off employees, limiting print production and leasing out floors at One World Trade Center.