Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Guess? chairman Paul Marciano resigned after a sexual harassment accusation—but is still getting paid, Elizabeth Holmes is reportedly pitching a new startup, and Fortune’s MPW International draws to a close. Enjoy your Wednesday.
• Much ado about NATO. One of the newsiest sessions of this year’s MPW International Summit came yesterday afternoon, when U.S ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison took the London stage.
Hutchison addressed the big news of the day—President Trump’s historic meeting with Kim Jong Un—saying that the agreement signed by the two leaders “acknowledges by both sides that they want a Korea, the whole peninsula, to be nuclear free.” She allowed that there must still be a negotiation over how exactly that denuclearization is actually accomplished, but called it a “major step and the farthest we’ve ever gone with North Korea.”
The ambassador did, however, seem to split from her boss’s view on another recent news story: The G7, and whether Russia should be allowed to rejoin the group.
Last week Trump called for Russia to be readmitted, saying “I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in.” But Hutchison told the London crowd, “I don’t think we ought to go back to business as usual with Russia.”
She noted that Russia was suspended from the group when it invaded Crimea and that relations shouldn’t return to normal “until they change their behavior in some way that shows they might want to be part of a rules-based concept in the world.”
Still, Hutchison insisted that the tensions coming out of the G7 meeting have not impacted her relationships with her fellow ambassadors, who she says remain “united on our security issues.” She told the audience that on Monday she walked over to the Canadian ambassador, who is one of her best friends, and “just hugged her and said we’re going to get through this.”
MORE FROM MPW LONDON
• Artificial bro-telligence? Artificial intelligence was a hot topic at MPWI this year—including in this session with Mastercard vice chairman Ann Cairns. AI is yet another reason we need to get more women into STEM, said Cairns. Unless we have a diverse group of people working on the technology, “we’re going to get computers that think like some bro culture on the West Coast,” she said. “That’s not so great.”
• The choice (should be) theirs. Lama Al Sulaiman, vice chair of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Saudi Arabia, told the Summit audience about her excitement about June 24—the day when women will finally be able to legally drive in her country. But she also expressed frustration that Saudi women are often spoken for by both conservative men in the country who think they know what women need, and by liberals around the world who think they know what they want. In reality, she says, such decisions should be up to Saudi women: “It’s the choices we’ve been missing.”
• A case for second chances. How should companies like Google and Facebook deal with terrorists and hate groups that hope to use their platforms to disseminate propaganda? While the instinctual answer might be “ban them!” Vidhya Ramalingam, the founder of Moonshot CVE, a startup dedicated to combating online radicalization, has a different view. “Unless we grant them opportunity to change, we’re doomed,” she said on the MPW stage.
• Keep up! Corinne Vigreux, co-founder of TomTom, told the Summit audience about how her company has adapted to survive in the age of personal digital assistants, GoogleMaps, and, soon, self-driving cars. The key, she says, is expecting the disruption and reacting with speed: “There is a technology graveyard full of companies, especially consumer electronic companies, who could not keep up with the pace of change.”
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Scooter startup Bird has hired Rebecca Hahn as senior vice president of communications and Wendy Mantell as deputy general counsel. Hahn was most recently a partner at The OutCast Agency, while Mantell was formerly the senior vice president of legal at FanDuel.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Guess who’s out? Paul Marciano resigned as chairman of Guess? after a probe of sexual-harassment allegations by women, including model Kate Upton. The investigation found that “on certain occasions Mr. Marciano exercised poor judgment in his communications with models and photographers and in placing himself in situations in which plausible allegations of improper conduct could, and did, arise.” But I’m not sure we should count this as an actual #MeToo victory: Marciano will continue to collect a salary from now until January.
• You’ve gotta be kidding me. In this podcast, The Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou—the journalist who exposed the lies and fraud behind Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos—tells Vanity Fair‘s Nick Bilton that Holmes not only shows no remorse for her behavior, but is actually “currently waltzing around Silicon Valley, meeting with investors, hoping to raise money for an entirely new start-up idea.”
• Sexual Harassment 101. A major new report issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine finds that the “years of efforts to prevent sexual harassment of women in the fields of science, engineering and medicine have not succeeded, and a sweeping overhaul is needed in the way universities and institutions deal with the issue.” Among the suggestions put forward by the report: change academic advising practices so that students and junior researchers are not dependent on one senior researcher for mentoring and access to grants.
New York Times
• It only takes one. New research from professors at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and the University of Amsterdam finds that even a single claim of sexual harassment can be enough to dramatically shape public perception of a company and suggest structural unfairness. As the profs write: “In the public’s mind there seems to be no such thing as a bad apple.”
Harvard Business Review