Mary Barra's big gamble
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The media weighs Roger Ailes’s legacy, Brit Morin lands a new round of funding, and Mary Barra has money on her mind. Have a relaxing weekend.
• Go big or go home. While many massive corporations want to be represented in every major global market, General Motors CEO Mary Barra is not afraid to take a different route. Since becoming chief in 2014, Barra—Fortune‘s Most Powerful Woman of 2016—has been ruthlessly pulling the automaker out of markets where it’s not reaping serious profits. Indeed, GM has sold or closed 13 plants and abandoned five markets—with about 26 million in total vehicle sales annually—during her tenure.
It’s a risky strategy. As Bloomberg’s David Welch puts it: “A market that doesn’t seem profitable today could turn out to be tomorrow’s gold mine.” But it’s also put GM on pace to report record profits this year—and sent a clear message that the company will not hesitate to make hard choices to accomplish its goals. Says Barra: “It has driven accountability, because the team knows we’re serious.” Bloomberg
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• End of the Ailes era. Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes died yesterday at age 77. As the creator of that powerful network, Ailes was a massively influential figure in U.S. media and politics, yet it remains impossible to talk about his legacy without remembering the multitude of sexual harassment claims that have been made against him—and which ultimately cost him his job. Fortune
• Take a ride. For those of you who have been following the sexual harassment/sexism charges against Uber, I recommend taking a moment to read this juicy excerpt from my colleague Adam Lashinsky’s forthcoming book, Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination. Fortune
• Sass for The Skimm. Slate’s Christina Cauterucci takes on The Skimm, calling the newsletter—which was founded by Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin—”patronizing” and asserting that it treats readers “like they’ve never read an article, looked at a map, or accidentally seen a CNN segment in their dentists’ waiting rooms.” Slate
• Brit bucks. Brit + Co, the home and cooking website led by CEO Brit Morin, has received a new round of funding led by Verizon Ventures, the venture arm of telecom giant. The startup raised $15 million in the round, bringing its total funding to $45 million. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Gizmodo Media Group on Thursday announced that president Heather Dietrick, the former president of Gawker Media, would leave the company for The Daily Beast.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• So much for WFH. IBM is telling thousands of its remote workers in the U.S. that they must relocate from home offices to a regional offices—or quit. The move comes as the company is under pressure over falling revenue and CEO Ginni Rometty’s giant pay package. WSJ
• The ultimate troll. New Hampshire state lawmaker Rep. Robert Fisher has resigned after admitting that he is indeed behind the handle pk_atheist, which posted numerous misogynistic comments on Reddit. Washington Post
• Wrestling for control. Linda McMahon, head of the Small Business Administration (and former CEO of WWE), says she’d like to see all federal programs aimed at supporting small businesses consolidated within her agency. WSJ
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