Fortune editor Clifton Leaf and I spent some time yesterday with Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme, who was in New York for the company’s investor and analyst meeting. Accenture has become one of the leading drivers of technology transformation among businesses, after undergoing a transformation of its own that has included gobbling up 70 companies through acquisition in the last three years. The business services company’s market value has grown by some $70 billion since Nanterme took the top post in 2011.
Nanterme, who is French, is among those who believes the next generation of technological change “is going to create massive productivity” among workers that will both create new jobs and lift pay. Up until now, he says, digital technology mostly “has been used to substitute for labor.” But the next wave will drive an industrial revolution that will create a wave of new, well-paying jobs. “It is starting now,” he says.
The “major challenge of the millennium,” he believes, will be educating people so they are prepared to do those jobs. And he says companies are starting to rise to that challenge. “In the last 18 months,” he says, “systematically, leaders are putting people reskilling at the same level” as their questions about how to adopt new technologies.
Separately, Apple CEO Tim Cook, FedEx’s Fred Smith, IBM’s Ginni Rometty and media mogul Rupert Murdoch were among the guests at the state dinner for French President Macron in Washington last night, while Merck CEO Ken Frazier and Adam Neumann of WeWork were among the honorees attending the gala for the TIME 100 in New York.
This morning’s European trading saw the Stoxx Europe 600 fall 0.8%, after slides of 1% and 0.3% in Hong Kong and Japan respectively. This follows yesterday’s drop on Wall Street. The industrial goods and services sector seems particularly affected, thanks to higher oil prices. U.S. Treasury yields climbed past 3%, which hasn’t happened for the last several years. Wall Street Journal
Takeda Buys Shire
Japan’s Takeda is entering the global pharma big leagues with its purchase of Adderall-maker Shire for $64 billion—assuming their preliminary agreement holds up. Shire’s board endorsed the deal last night, after Takeda upped its offer by about $7 to $68.40 per share. Takeda’s investors reacted badly, though, sending the company’s shares down 7% in today’s trading. Guardian
It’s Facebook results day today, and investors will be looking for any signs of an effect from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In particular, they’ll be looking to see if user numbers are still going up, and if there’s any significant drop-off in advertiser spending. According to Bloomberg, analysts are on average expecting to see 1.45 billion daily active users, and 2.19 billion monthly active users. The actual figures will come out after market close this afternoon. Bloomberg
Meanwhile, Facebook has appointed a former chair of the Federal Communications Commission as its interim head of U.S. policy. Kevin Martin has been with Facebook since 2015, as VP for mobile and global access policy. Erin Egan, who had been filling the role as well as that of chief privacy officer, will now focus on the latter role exclusively, due to “expanded duties” in that position. CNBC
Around the Water Cooler
North Korea Nuclear
Mount Montap, the mountain under which North Korea has been testing its nuclear bombs, has collapsed. Chinese scientists say the collapse probably took place last fall, and China and other nearby countries may suffer radioactive exposure as a result. This may explain why Kim Jong-un has said he will freeze tests and shut down the site. South China Morning Post
SoftBank’s Ride-Hailing Bets
Japan’s SoftBank is reorganizing its ride-hailing portfolio, moving its various investments in the sector into its Saudi-backed Vision fund. SoftBank has investments in Uber, Ola, Grab and Didi Chuxing, all of which would get increased access to resources if the rearrangement goes through. The Vision fund was set up last year with more than $90 billion to throw around. Financial Times
Britain avoided using coal-derived energy for 76 hours and 10 minutes between Saturday and yesterday. That’s a new record, and it comes hot on the heels of another—a 55-hour coal-free period last week. The country’s first coal-free day since the 19th century only occurred a year ago. The government has pledged to phase out the fossil fuel entirely by 2025. BusinessGreen
President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from Muslim-majority countries is before the Supreme Court today. This is the first time the court will give one of Trump’s initiatives a full hearing. The Supreme Court will have to decide whether the proposed limits on visas to people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen is legally acceptable, as opposed to being the “Muslim ban” that Trump promised when campaigning for the presidency. NBC