Good morning, Broadsheet readers. Everyone is talking about Newsweek’s seemingly-sexist cover on sexism in Silicon Valley, and sorority women at the University of Virginia are upset for an interesting reason. Read on to hear how NFL CMO Dawn Hudson plans to repair the league’s broken image. Have a great Thursday.
• Newsweek cover freakout. People are none too pleased with the latest cover of Newsweek on women in Silicon Valley. You really have to see it to believe it, but it depicts a woman whose skirt is being pulled up by a… mouse cursor. The cover story is about sexism in Silicon Valley and includes detailed accounts of women working in tech being abused, assaulted and discriminated against by men. The story itself sheds a critical light on the issue, so are we being too sensitive about the illustration? Email me if you have a strong opinion.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• The GOP loves Warren. The Republican party would love nothing more than for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to challenge Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. “Please give us Elizabeth Warren. Please, God, let us have Elizabeth Warren,” said Mike Huckabee, a potential presidential contender himself. In other election news, Playbook’s Mike Allen reports this morning that Clinton is considering delaying the formal launch of her presidential campaign until July — three months later than she originally planned.
• Lynch met with praise. In the first day of a two-day confirmation hearing, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch discussed improving police and community relations and Obama’s immigration policies. Lynch’s responses were met with approval by skeptical Republicans who previously did not agree with her predecessor, Eric Holder, and his perceived political leanings. When asked how she will be different than Holder, she responded, “I will be Loretta Lynch.”
• ‘Punishing us for being women’ Sorority women at the University of Virginia were told by the National Panhellenic Conference, which advises sororities across the nation, not to participate in so-called Boys’ Bid Night fraternity recruitment parties last weekend. The National Panhellenic Conference feels the parties are too unsafe for sorority members after allegations of sexual assault in the past. “We’re angry because we are being told we are not allowed to go out instead of addressing the deeper issue of why sexual assault happens,” a sorority member told Bloomberg Business.
• ‘It wasn’t a sister brand to Tory.’ Chris Burch, the ex-husband of Tory Burch whose preppy retail company C. Wonder just collapsed, disputes the notion that he modeled his brand after his wife’s namesake empire.
• Biggest ever. Roberta Buffett Elliott, an alumna of Northwestern University and Warren’s sister, just donated $100 million to her alma mater — the largest single contribution in its history.
The woman behind the Super Bowl
Today’s Broadview comes to you from Fortune’s Pattie Sellers, who spoke with NFL CMO Dawn Hudson about cleaning up the league’s image.
Dawn Hudson was working in her home office in Bronxville, N.Y., last August when her cell phone rang and up popped the name of a man she hadn’t heard from in five years: Roger Goodell. Not one for small talk, the NFL Commissioner surprised Hudson with a big-league offer: to be the NFL’s new chief marketing officer.
At first discounting herself as a candidate, she told Goodell she’d help him find someone else for the job. “That night I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” she recalls. “I did a 180.”
You have to give Hudson, a former PepsiCo executive who earned her stripes fighting the cola wars, credit for stepping right in it—the NFL’s controversies around domestic violence, brain injuries on the field, and the latest: Deflategate, involving charges that the league’s most marketable quarterback, Tom Brady, and his coach were involved in the intentional deflating of footballs.
“My philosophy is that you can learn the most and contribute the most when there’s a crisis,” says Hudson, who started as CMO in mid-October and oversees not only the NFL’s marketing but also its events, including Super Bowl XLIX this Sunday. “It’s easier to drive change when things are in flux than when things are going well.”
Hudson, 57, spent 11 years at PepsiCo and got to know Goodell before he became Commissioner, back in 2002 when Pepsi replaced Coke as the NFL’s official soft-drink sponsor. In 2006, when Indra Nooyi was appointed PepsiCo’s CEO, Hudson was president and CEO of Pepsi-Cola North America. The following year, Nooyi restructured senior management and squeezed Hudson out of her job.
The ouster hurt at the time, but Hudson now takes it in stride. “She did me a favor,” she says about her former boss, explaining that Nooyi “allowed me to grow again. I should have left Pepsi two years earlier because the (soft drink) business had gone into decline.”
To read Sellers’ full story on the NFL, click here.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• It’s okay, mom. As more and more studies come out that point to permanent brain damage from young football players getting tackled, NFL players are speaking directly to mothers to convince them its okay for their sons to play the game. “You’ve got to look that parent in the eye and demonstrate through actions, not words, that you are doing things to create a better, safer environment for their child,” said Scott Hallenbeck, the executive director of USA Football. “Otherwise, guys, we’re in trouble.”
• Social media stress. New research indicates that women who frequently use social media, mobile phones and email have less stress than do women who use these technologies less often. Yet executive coach Camille Preston warns that using social media makes women more aware of the stress in other peoples’ lives. The solution? Be selective about the people you follow and limit what you read, she says.
• ‘This sick beat’ That’s just one of several lyrics that Taylor Swift is trying to trademark. If she succeeds, you’ll only be able to use this catchphrases with her explicit permission and under threat of legal action.
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ON MY RADAR
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The women of Birdman (Video)
|It was not an act of defiance when the First Lady showed up in Saudi Arabia without a headscarf. She only tells Muslim women what they already knew: that some women stand above them. Above the royal family. Above their daily fight for having the simplest of choices.|
| -- Fortune contributor Hadiya Abdelrahman reacts to the First Lady not wearing a hijab on her recent trip to Saudi Arabia. |