Winners and Losers: Men's Wearhouse Errs; Netflix Expands DreamWorks Deal

George Zimmer

Companies are like the rest of us: They intend to do well, but there are times when things don't work out quite as planned. From the surprising ouster of a retailer's iconic founder to a premium radio leader teaming up with an automaker to make its music more accessible, here's a rundown of the week's smartest moves and worst performers in the business world.

Men's Wearhouse (MW) -- Loser

"You're going to like the way you look," Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer has been saying for years in the suit seller's ads. "I guarantee it." Well, Zimmer was let go as executive chairman of the retailer after clashing with its board. In a statement, Zimmer conceded that he was forced out because he didn't agree with the board's vision for the retailer's future. However, the board was surprisingly mum on the situation.

Really? A beloved icon of the chain -- the face of Men's Wearhouse ads for decades -- is let go, and the company's board thinks that shoppers will be cool with that? Don't be surprised if same-store sales slip in the coming quarters.

Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) -- Winner

Sirius XM may have a monopoly when it comes to satellite radio, but it's a more competitive market is the streaming audio space. Sirius XM and Ford (F) are making it easier for the satellite radio provider's Web-based applications to get heard, announcing that the million drivers with Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC AppLink will now be able to access Sirius XM's Internet on demand and personalized radio offerings.

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SYNC AppLink-equipped cars will offer access to Sirius XM's Internet radio features using a car's voice commands, steering wheel, or radio controls. Wise more: These days, having a smartphone with Bluetooth connectivity is becoming as indispensable on a long road trip as snacks and bathroom breaks.

Facebook (FB) -- Winner

Twitter's video-sharing platform Vine is starting to gain traction, and Facebook wants in on the action. Facebook-owned Instagram introduced the ability for its 130 million active users to start uploading short video clips on Thursday.

In line with Instagram's popular photo-sharing application, there will be several different filters that users can use to dress up their uploads. The clips are limited to a mere 15 seconds, but that's more than Vine's 6-second cap. Facebook itself already allows for longer videos, so it's doing the right thing by introducing this through its Instagram subsidiary.

Ebix (EBIX) -- Loser

Thursday's biggest loser was Ebix after a deal to take the insurance industry software provider private collapsed in brutal fashion. Goldman Sachs (GS) was set to acquire the company in a $820 million deal, but the investment bank broke things off after it was disclosed that a U.S. criminal probe into Ebix's accounting practices was under way. Ebix shares plunged 44 percent on Thursday.

Netflix (NFLX) -- Winner

Netflix's Facebook page is loaded with complaints of subscribers lamenting that "South Park," "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Dora the Explorer" left the service's digital vault last month. Well, Netflix doesn't have a "South Park" replacement, but it does have something else in the works for its younger viewers.

The leading video service is building on its content deal with DreamWorks Animation (DWA), forming a partnership that will deliver 300 hours of original programming -- based on DreamWorks Animation's popular movie characters -- as soon as next year. Content is king, and Netflix knows that proprietary content and offering video that suits all tastes are the keys to retaining its more than 36 million global streaming subscribers.


Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix, Ford, and Ebix. The Motley Fool recommends DreamWorks Animation, Ebix, Facebook, Ford, Goldman Sachs, and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook, Ford, and Netflix. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.