Welcome to the new version of Fortune’s daily newsletter – the Fortune CEO Daily. We recognize our readers are flooded with more information, and have less time to digest it, than ever before. So we have retooled this newsletter to do some of that work for you, and to reach you earlier in the morning. We will highlight the day’s news from Fortune.com as well as other news sources, and steer you to the stories we think are most important for your business success. We welcome your feedback.
Since Hillary Clinton’s announcement is hardly a surprise, we would focus your attention this morning on two important reports on cybersecurity. The first comes from consulting firm FireEye, highlighting a ten-year campaign by hackers, almost certainly backed by the Chinese government, collecting political and military intelligence in Southeast Asia. The report underscores the sophistication and scope of today’s cyber attacks. The second comes out of Intel, based on a survey of 700 IT and security experts, and argues the key for companies is not so much preventing such attacks – which may be impossible – but detecting them in the first hour they occur – the all-important “golden hour.”
If a cyber attack doesn’t get you, an activist attack just might. The Wall Street Journal reports Jana Partners, which owns a $2 billion stake in Qualcomm, is pressuring the company to consider a breakup. We won’t address the merits of the case here, but if anyone doubts the perils of trying to run a company in today’s public markets, they should read what venture investor Marc Andreesen had to say at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech dinner in San Francisco last week:
“If you go public in this environment under the single class structure and a board that gets reelected every 12 months, god help you…There’s never been a more dangerous time to be an unprotected public company.”
Enjoy the day!
• Hillary Clinton announces 2016 presidential bid
Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday announced her widely anticipated second campaign for the White House. Clinton, in a strong position to clinch the nomination with few serious challenges in the Democratic field, struck a populist tone: “The deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top.” Clinton is asking voters to give Democrats control of the White House for another 4 years (or 16 years in total if she were to win two elections in a row). Statistician and blogger Nate Silver, who accurately called all 50 states in 2012 and 49 out of 50 in 2008, said a general election win by Clinton is “roughly a 50/50 proposition” at this point.
• New Apple Watch and MacBook sales in synch
One of the greatest advantages Apple commands is its well-established “ecosystem” – hardware and software that connect seamlessly and can lead to greater sales as one becomes more invested in the “system.” That was on display this weekend. A research firm estimated 43% of those ordering a new Macbook also bought an Apple Watch. It is estimated Apple received almost one million U.S. Apple Watch pre-orders on Friday, when Apple started accepting orders, according to projections from Slice Intelligence.
• Activist urges Qualcomm to consider a breakup
Activist investor Jana Partners LLC is putting pressure on chip maker Qualcomm to take a page from an old playbook and consider a possible breakup, as well as advocating the company to cut costs and buy back more shares. Jana is asking Qualcomm to mull spinning off its chip unit from its patent-licensing business, an idea Qualcomm thought of 15 years ago but later called it off. There are two interesting tidbits to this story: breakups are of course a prevailing trend in corporate America. And Jana, which tends to work with management behind the scenes, went public this week by sharing the hedge fund’s letter with The Wall Street Journal.
• Why Uber is gingerly hailing India
Uber, known for its aggressive tactics, is playing a softer hand in India. The tech giant, #2 on Fortune‘s Unicorn list, isn’t just recklessly defying a ban in Delhi for the company’ taxi-hailing app. It is also in talks with federal transport official to draft national guidelines for app-based taxi services, while also applying for a license in Delhi. WSJ says those moves imply “increased emphasis on diplomacy and conciliation.” India is important because the cities where Uber operates have grown consistently at more than 40% month-to-month, growth that is unprecedented for Uber globally.
Around the Water Cooler
• Long live the work bar cart
The three-martini lunch may be a tradition of the past, but workday-drinking is still a leisurely perk across several large industries. Ad agencies, tech firms and startups, and (unsurprisingly) the alcohol industry keep the workplace mood light by hosting happy hours, beer tastings and other drinking occasions that aren’t exactly like the 50s, albeit still pretty nifty.
• Executive reimbursed $62,000 for shortened vacation
Discovery Communications paid greatly for requesting its general counsel, Bruce Campbell, end his vacation early. A proxy filing indicated the owner of The Discovery Channel and other TV programming paid almost half of that amount to cover travel expenses for Campbell’s family, with the rest paid to cover taxes related to the reimbursement. Campbell was called back from vacation on urgent business. His entire family of six, including a toddler, returned to the U.S. from Europe over Christmas. For what it is worth, Campbell was paid $7.6 million in cash and equity last year.
• Business getting hacked? You have one hour to contain it
When a business is hacked, the clock starts ticking and an all-important “golden hour” begins — lingo for the small window to detect a breach and contain it before the risk of losing control. A report published by microchip giant Intel claims that first hour is the most critical period for companies aiming to defend themselves without suffering huge losses. Cyberattacks have dominated headlines and stung many sectors, though retailers in particular have been targeted
• A “No Child Left Behind” for universities?
A Georgetown University professor contends the federal government should encourage more accountability in the public system of higher education, a lesson it learned after implementing test-based accountability and other reforms in the K-12 system. Troubled by the nation’s student loan debt burden of $1.3 trillion and disappointing employment prospects for some graduates, Harry J. Holzer believes the government should expand use of accountability and add earnings outcomes to their measures of success if states want federal dollars.