Marissa Mayer moves on
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Our Fortune MPW International Summit is a wrap, Marissa Mayer officially leaves Yahoo, and Uber has yet another tough news day. Have a productive Wednesday.
• Today in Uber. The move that many had been anticipating finally happened: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announced yesterday that he’s taking an indefinite leave of absence.
The company also released the recommendations of the internal investigation into its cultural problems. For anyone who has been following the saga, it’s worth a reading the full document, though my colleague Polina Marinova has a helpful list of key takeaways. Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer whose blog post prompted the inquiry, referred to it as “all optics.”
Reading the recommendations, I was struck by how basic they are—adopt a zero-tolerance policy on harassment, train leaders and managers on unconscious bias, interview diverse candidates… In other words, adopt and enforce standard HR practices and follow the law.
Then came that news that, in yesterday’s all-hands company meeting to discuss those recommendations, board member Arianna Huffington brought up research that shows that having one female board member increases the odds of attracting a second. David Bonderman, who also sits on the board, responded with a pathetic joke playing on the stereotype of motormouth women: “Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.”
Bonderman paid for his quip quickly—he resigned last night. But when a leader casually makes a such a sexist remark at a meeting focused on rooting out that exact type of behavior, we get a chilling of glimpse of just how deep the problem runs.
NEWS FROM THE MPW INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT
• May vs. Mendelsohn. Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women International Summit concluded yesterday in London. In one of the day’s most timely sessions, Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s VP of EMEA, responded to Theresa May’s critique—which came in the aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack—that “big companies that provide Internet-based services” give extremist ideology “the safe space it needs to breed.” Mendelsohn hewed to the company line, saying Facebook takes extremism “hugely seriously” and is hiring another 3,000 employees to flag dangerous content. Fortune
• Feminists are made of this. Singer-songwriter Annie Lenox says she’s “proud” to call herself a feminist, but didn’t hesitate to critique modern feminism, which she says can be intimidating to both women and men. She also told the MPW London crowd about the moment that an interview with Charlie Rose convinced her that she could use her fame for good. “Wow, if people ask me more intelligent questions I can give them more intelligent answers,” she said. Fortune
• You be you. Lloyd’s of London CEO Inga Beale told the Summit audience about why she decided to come out professionally as bisexual in 2008. She’d tired of hiding the reality of leading a dual life: “I can now be much more myself; I can be my own personality,” she said, adding that such transparency has been a key to her success. Fortune
• Swedish hospitality. Ylva Johansson, Sweden’s Minister of Employment and Integration, talked about her nation’s decision to take in an impressive 160,000 refugees—2% of the country’s total population—during the height of Europe’s migrant crisis. She put the problem in very human terms, noting that about 35,000 of the refugees were unaccompanied minors and speculating about how she would feel if she were forced to send her own 16-year-old son off on such a dangerous journey. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Mindy Grossman, who will become CEO and president of Weight Watchers next month, has been named to the board of sports apparel retailer Fanatics.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Mayer moves on. Verizon has completed its acquisition of Yahoo, signaling the end of Marissa Mayer’s nearly five-year run as CEO. Mayer, who leaves the company with what’s expected to be a $23 million severance package, took to Tumblr yesterday to share a copy of the resignation email she sent to employees. She thanked them for “the most impressive displays of teamwork, innovation, and resilience [she’s] ever seen.” Fortune
• A pledge for parity. Accenture just announced a new pledge to boost its workforce to fully 50% female by 2025. The company, which is the only one of its major competitors to release detailed diversity stats for its U.S. workforce, is currently about 40% female (a fifth of managing directors are women). Fortune
• History in the making? Shockingly, America has still never had an African-American female governor. Fortune‘s Maddie Farber talks to Rep. Stacey Abrams (D-Ga.) who hopes to become the first. “I am very aware that this would be a history-making turn. It’s thrilling,” says Abrams. “It would redefine our beliefs about who can lead.” Fortune
• Another Kelly controversy. The controversy over Megyn Kelly’s upcoming interview with InfoWars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones continues. Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping gun violence, has disinvited Kelly as a host of its annual gala. Fortune
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