Planet Business

This week: Tequila, Tony Blair, tourism ambassadors, Kodak and the ‘coffice’

Image of the week: Kodak says cheese
The chief executive of Eastman Kodak Company Antonio Perez (front row, silver hair) is pictured applauding after ringing the opening bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

He and his colleagues are cheering themselves for having emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, shedding its debts, selling off its assets and reinventing itself as an, um, much smaller company focused on commercial and packaging printing.

“The bell ringing is a symbol of Kodak’s remarkable transformation,” says Perez. “It’s a new year, with a new company, a new stock and a new start.”

It's the same logo though. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
In numbers:

Cash pile that two businesses owned by Tony Blair amassed in the year to the end of April 2013, according to accounts filed at the UK Companies Office.
Percentage jump in profits (to almost £2 million) at one of the two companies, Windrush Ventures, making it Blair's most commercially successful year since leaving Downing Street.
The estimated wealth (including properties) of the former UK prime minister, who has said he has no interest in being "super-rich".

The lexicon: The coffice
The coffice, according to Urban Dictionary, is "a coffee shop one makes into an office where non-coffee shop work is performed".

The Guardian, which happens to have its own branded coffee shop in Shoreditch in London, this week wondered if the coffice was “the future of work”, quoting a “soonologist” from BT who described the typical cafe’s supply of caffeine, cake and connectivity, and its absence of distracting colleagues, as the ideal place to get some work done.

In San Francisco, of course, this stuff is old news, and city coffee shops are stuffed with lines of superfit young people glued to their Macs as they toil for corporates based way out in the sticks (Silicon Valley). Urban Dictionary, meanwhile, also lists a charming alternative definition: "An office where everyone is coughing".

Getting to know: Sean 'Diddy' Combs
Readers will surely already be familiar with Sean Combs aka Diddy (aka P Diddy, aka Puff Daddy) via hits such as Can't Nobody Hold Me Down, I'll Be Missing You and Shake Ya Tailfeather, but the US rapper and record producer also dabbles as an entrepreneur.

This week, Combs bought "ultra premium" tequila brand DeLeon in partnership with Diageo, with the music veteran owning 50 per cent of the brand and the British drinks company holding the rest. Combs previously served as the face of Diageo's Cîroc in a marketing deal that worked wonders for the vodka brand. "With Cîroc, we dated. Now with DeLeon, we're married," Combs said. "This deal is way better."

The list: Tourism ambassadors
Ireland's tourism industry has pulled off something of a coup by persuading Chris Hadfield to serve as the country's tourism ambassador, even if the extra-terrestrial holidaymaker market seems unlikely to take off just yet. The Canadian astronaut joins this list of humans and others who have served in similar positions around the world.

1 Hello Kitty: The cute feline was in 2008 named Japan's tourism ambassador to China and Hong Kong, where the toy character is almost as popular as Hadfield is in Ireland.

2 Rihanna: The pop star began working with tourism authorities in her native Barbados in 2011, saying she wanted "each and every visitor to this beautiful island to experience what makes this destination different from all others".

3 Victoria Beckham: The Spice Girl turned designer signed on as Britain's tourism ambassador in 2012, highlighting why "fashion is great" in a short film for Visit Britain.

4 Ben Southall: The man who beat 35,000 applicants to win Australia's "best job in the world competition", becoming the handsomely paid "caretaker" of sandy Hamilton Island for a stint, was later appointed "tourism ambassador" for all of Queensland.

5 Robert Mugabe: The UN's World Tourism Organisation reportedly selected the Zimbabwean president, who is subject to an EU travel ban, as a "leader for tourism" in 2012. In fact, it had asked Zimbabwe to co-host an African tourism summit. Nevertheless, rights group UN Watch said the episode gave Mugabe "false legitimacy".