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Pelé, Brazilian soccer star and the only player to win the World Cup three times, dies at age 82



Pelé, the Brazilian soccer icon who brought the World Cup trophy to his home country three times, becoming an international superstar and the highest-paid team athlete in the world at the time, has died. He was 82.

His daughter Kely Nascimento announced his death Thursday on Instagram.

Pelé’s health had been deteriorating as he aged. Doctors at Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo said in late December that he was receiving “elevated care” related to “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions” stemming from the cancer he had been fighting for more than a year. He also had a respiratory infection, and his family said he would be staying in the hospital over the Christmas holiday.

“Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today,” a statement on his organization’s website read. “On his journey, Edson enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love. His message today becomes a legacy for future generations.”

(Watch Pele’s 2015 interview with CNBC Europe above)

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on Oct. 23, 1940, he was almost exclusively known as Pelé — a nickname he supposedly earned after he mispronounced another footballer’s name.

Pelé joined the Santos Football Club in Brazil in 1956 at age 15 as an inside forward. The club won the São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, both the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup.

The forward, who operated as a second striker, made his international debut just a year after joining Santos, in 1957, and played at the World Cup the following year at age 17 — the youngest player ever. He picked up a hat trick in the semifinal against France and scored two goals in the championship game against the 1958 tournament host, Sweden.

After bursting onto the world stage and dazzling with his ability to land difficult shots in the net, Brazil declared that Pelé was a “national treasure,” a move to prevent him from being scooped up by wealthier European teams. Instead, Santos went on an international tour to give fans a chance to see the star.

Pelé tore a muscle at the next World Cup tournament in 1962 and had to sit out after the second match, but the Brazilian national team prevailed and picked up back-to-back titles. Brazil lost in the first round at the next World Cup, in 1966, after Pelé and others suffered injuries.

He considered retiring from international play, but made a triumphant return in 1970 to win it all once again. Pelé closed out his World Cup career netting 12 goals in 14 games and remains the only soccer player to win the trophy three times.

Pelé retired from Santos in 1974 after scoring a mind-boggling 643 goals in 659 games.

He was coaxed out of retirement a year later to join his second-ever team, the New York Cosmos. At 34, he signed a three-year $7 million deal to play for the U.S. team, which The New York Times reported at the time made him the highest-paid team athlete in the world. He ended up playing for the Cosmos for two years, helping them win the North American Soccer League trophy, and he was widely credited with increasing popularity in the sport in the U.S.

His last-ever game was an exhibition match between Santos and the Cosmos. He played the first half with the Cosmos and the second half with his beloved Santos. When the time expired, his teammates lifted the emotional Pelé onto their shoulders and paraded him around the field.

“In simple terms, Pelé made soccer cool,” Shep Messing, a goalkeeper for the Cosmos, told ESPN 40 years after that last game. “Mick Jagger, Elton John, Robert Redford at the games. Muhammad Ali, he was there on the field for that final game, and at that time, the two most recognizable people on the planet were the two of them.”

Pelé scored more than 1,000 goals in the course of his career, earning a Guinness World Record.

He used his platform after soccer to support charitable works and try to improve the lives of Brazil’s poor. He became a UNESCO global ambassador in 1994 and served as a minister for sport in Brazil. He also published several autobiographies that went on to become bestsellers and starred in documentary films about his life.

He and Argentine star Diego Maradona, who was younger than Pelé and played after his retirement, have often been discussed as the greatest players of all time — even being jointly named the “player of the century” by FIFA in 2000. Despite the competition, the two struck up a friendship before Maradona died in 2020 after years of trading jabs.

“I want to thank Pelé. We know who he is and who he will always be. We need icons like him,” Maradona said at a friendly exhibition match in 2016.

FIFA ultimately named Pelé the “greatest of all time” in 2012 and the International Olympic Committee named him the “athlete of the century” in 1999.

After his death was announced Thursday, tributes from the soccer world poured in.

Santos tweeted out a reference to his nickname, “O Rei” or “The King.”

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo praised “The King” on social media as well.

“A mere ‘goodbye’ to the eternal King Pelé will never be enough to express the pain that the entire football world is currently embracing,” Ronaldo said. “An inspiration to so many millions, a reference yesterday, today and forever. The love you always showed me was reciprocated in every moment we shared even from distance. He will never be forgotten and his memory will live forever in each and every one of us football lovers.”

France forward Kylian Mbappé, who scored a hat trick in the most recent World Cup final earlier this month in Qatar, said Pelé’s “legacy will never be forgotten.”

And former English footballer Geoff Hurst said, “I have so many memories of Pele, without doubt the best footballer I ever played against. … For me Pele remains the greatest of all time and I was proud to be on the the pitch with him. RIP Pele.”

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Lucid to cut 1,300 workers amid signs of flagging demand for its EVs



Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson poses at the Nasdaq MarketSite as Lucid Motors (Nasdaq: LCID) begins trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange after completing its business combination with Churchill Capital Corp IV in New York City, New York, July 26, 2021.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Struggling EV maker Lucid said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that it plans to cut about 18% of its workforce, or roughly 1,300 employees, as part of a larger restructuring to reduce costs as it works to ramp up production of its Air luxury sedan.

Lucid said it will incur one-time charges totaling between $24 million and $30 million related to the job cuts, with most of that amount being recognized in the first quarter of 2023.

News of the job cuts was first reported by Insider earlier on Tuesday. Lucid’s shares closed down over 7% on Tuesday following the Insider report.

In a letter to employees, CEO Peter Rawlinson said the job cuts will hit “nearly every organization and level, including executives,” and that affected employees will be notified over the next three days. Severance packages will include continued healthcare coverage paid by Lucid, as well as an acceleration of equity vesting, Rawlinson wrote.

Lucid ended 2022 with about $4.4 billion in cash on hand, enough to last until the first quarter of 2024, CFO Sherry House told CNBC last month ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report. But there have been signs that demand for the high-priced Air has fallen short of Lucid’s internal expectations, and the company may be struggling to convert early reservations to sold orders.

Lucid said that it had more than 28,000 reservations for the Air as of Feb. 21, its most recent update. But it also said that it plans to build just 10,000 to 14,000 vehicles in 2023, far fewer than the roughly 27,000 that Wall Street analysts had expected.

With Lucid’s factory currently set up to build about 34,000 vehicles per year, the company has warned of continuing losses.

“As we produce vehicles at low volumes on production lines designed for higher volumes, we have and we will continue to experience negative gross profit related to labor and overhead costs,” House said during Lucid’s earnings call on Feb. 22.

Lucid hasn’t yet announced a date for its first-quarter earnings report.

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Virgin Orbit extends unpaid pause as Brown deal collapses, ‘dynamic’ talks continue



NEWQUAY, ENGLAND – JANUARY 09: A general view of Cosmic Girl, a Boeing 747-400 aircraft carrying the LauncherOne rocket under its left wing, as final preparations are made at Cornwall Airport Newquay on January 9, 2023 in Newquay, United Kingdom. Virgin Orbit launches its LauncherOne rocket from the spaceport in Cornwall, marking the first ever orbital launch from the UK. The mission has been named Start Me Up after the Rolling Stones hit. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Matthew Horwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Virgin Orbit is again extending its unpaid pause in operations to continue pursuing a lifeline investment, CEO Dan Hart told employees in a company-wide email.

Some of the company’s late-stage deal talks, including with private investor Matthew Brown, collapsed over the weekend, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Hart previously planned to update employees on the company’s operational status at an all-hands meeting at 4:30 p.m. ET on Monday afternoon, according to an email sent to employees Sunday night. At the last minute, that meeting was rescheduled “for no later than Thursday,” Hart said in the employee memo Monday.

“Our investment discussions have been very dynamic over the past few days, they are ongoing, and not yet at a stage where we can provide a fulsome update,” Hart wrote in the email to employees, which was viewed by CNBC.

Brown told CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” last week he was in final discussions to invest in the company. A person familiar with the terms told CNBC the investment would have amounted to $200 million and granted Brown a controlling stake. But discussions between Virgin Orbit and the Texas-based investor stalled and broke down late last week, a person familiar told CNBC. As of Saturday those discussions had ended, the person said.

Separately, another person said talks with a different potential buyer broke down on Sunday night.

The people asked to remain anonymous to discuss private negotiations. A representative for Virgin Orbit declined to comment.

Hart promised Virgin Orbit’s over 750 employees “daily” updates this week. Most of the staff remain on an unpaid furlough that Hart announced on Mar. 15. Last week, a “small” team of Virgin Orbit employees returned to work in what Hart described as the “first step” in an “incremental resumption of operations,” with the intention of preparing a rocket for the company’s next launch.

Virgin Orbit’s stock closed at 54 cents a share on Monday, having fallen below $1 a share after the company’s pause in operations.

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Virgin Orbit developed a system that uses a modified 747 jet to send satellites into space by dropping a rocket from under the aircraft’s wing mid-flight. But the company’s last mission suffered a mid-flight failure, with an issue during the launch causing the rocket to not reach orbit and crash into the ocean.

The company has been looking for new funds for several months, with majority owner Sir Richard Branson unwilling to fund the company further.

Virgin Orbit was spun out of Branson’s Virgin Galactic in 2017 and counts the billionaire as its largest stakeholder, with 75% ownership. Mubadala, the Emirati sovereign wealth fund, holds the second-largest stake in Virgin Orbit, at 18%.

The company hired bankruptcy firms to draw up contingency plans in the event it is unable to find a buyer or investor. Branson has first priority over Virgin Orbit’s assets, as the company raised $60 million in debt from the investment arm of Virgin Group.

On the same day that Hart told employees that Virgin Orbit was pausing operations, its board of directors approved a “golden parachute” severance plan for top executives, in case they are terminated “following a change in control” of the company.

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Historic UAW election picks reform leader who vows more aggressive approach to auto negotiations



Supporters wave signs during an address at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 5, 2012 on the second day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Mladin Antonov | AFP | Getty Images

DETROIT – United Auto Workers members have ousted their president in the union’s first direct election, ushering in a new era for the prominent organized labor group ahead of negotiations later this year with the Detroit automakers.

The union’s new leader will be Shawn Fain, a member of the “UAW Members United” reform group and local leader for a Stellantis parts plant in Indiana. He came out ahead in a runoff election by hundreds of votes over incumbent Ray Curry, who was appointed president by union leaders in 2021.

Fain, in a statement Saturday, thanked UAW members who voted in the election. He also hailed the election results as a historic change in direction for the embattled union, which he says will take a “more aggressive approach” with its employers.

“This election was not just a race between two candidates, it was a referendum on the direction of the UAW. For too long, the UAW has been controlled by leadership with a top-down, company union philosophy who have been unwilling to confront management, and as a result, we’ve seen nothing but concessions, corruption, and plant closures,” Fain said.

Curry, who previously protested the narrow election results, said in a statement that Fain will be sworn in on Sunday and that Curry is “committed to ensuring that this transition is smooth and without disruptions.”

“I want to express my deep gratitude to all UAW staff, clerical support, leaders and most of all, our union’s active and retired members for the many years of support and solidarity. It has been the honor of my life to serve our great union,” Curry said.

More than 141,500 ballots were cast in the runoff election that also included two other board positions, a 33% increase from last year’s direct election in which neither of the presidential candidates received 50% or more of the votes.

The election was overseen by a federal monitor, who did not immediately confirm the results. The election results had been delayed several weeks due to a run-off election as well as the close final count.

Shawn Fain, candidate for UAW president, is in a run-off election with incumbent Ray Curry for the union’s highest-ranking position.

Jim West for UAW Members United

Fain’s election adds to the UAW’s largest upheaval in leadership in decades, as a majority of the union’ s International Executive Board will be made up of first-time directors who are not part of the “Administration Caucus” that has controlled the union for more than 70 years.

Fain and other members of his leadership slate ran on the promise of “No corruption. No concessions. No tiers.” The last being a reference to a tiered pay system implemented by the automakers during recent negotiations that members have asked to be removed.

The shuffle follows a yearslong federal investigation that uncovered systemic corruption involving bribery, embezzlement, and other crimes among the top ranks of the UAW.

Thirteen UAW officials were convicted as part of the probe, including two past presidents. As part of a settlement with the union in late 2020, a federal monitor was appointed to oversee the union and the organization held a direct election where each member has a vote, doing away with a weighted delegate process.

For investors, UAW negotiations with the Detroit automakers are typically a short-term headwind every four years that result in higher costs. But this year’s negotiations are anticipated to be among the most contentious and important in recent memory.

Fain has said the union will seek benefit gains for members, advocating for the return of a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, as well as raises and job security.

The change in the UAW comes against the backdrop of a broader organized labor movement across the country, a pro-union president and an industry in the transition to all-electric vehicles.

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