The Broadsheet: September 12th

September 12, 2014, 11:42 AM UTC
Fortune

Good morning, Broadsheet readers. In six days, Fortune will announce its 2014 Most Powerful Women list. As you may know, our list exclusively features women in business, so powerhouses like Hillary Clinton and Beyonce won’t make the cut. With that in mind, email me at caroline.fairchild@fortune.com with who you think will be #1 and why. I’ll share your predictions next week. Have a great weekend!

EVERYONE'S TALKING

Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide. Judge Thokozile Masipa found the South African sprint runner guilty of negligent killing in the shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Yesterday, Masipa acquitted Pistorius on the larger charge of murder. The judge did not immediately issue a sentence, but Pistorius could face up to 15 years in prison. In South Africa, there are no jury trials, so Masipa is solely responsible for Pistorius's fate. Read this New Yorker article from May on Masipa to learn more about her.  NYTimes

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

 Mary Barra's good news? General Motors has "substantially completed" its vehicle recalls, the CEO said Thursday. The Detroit automaker has recalled more than 29 million vehicles this year due to a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to at least 13 deaths since 2005. “We’re working hard to make sure that as new vehicles come out, they achieve even higher levels of quality and safety," says Barra “We’re very focused to being industry leaders.”  Bloomberg

 Susan Wojcicki's big win. U.S. advertising revenue from YouTube reportedly could reach $1.13 billion in 2014. The predicted sales would mark a 39% increase from 2013, which is great news for CEO Wojcicki as she works aggressively to grow the Google unit, already is the web's largest video site.  LATimes

 Maxim gets a new editor. The ultimate men's magazine appointed Kate Lanphear, the former style director at both The New York Times Style Magazine and Elle, as its next top editor. The publication seeks to go in a different direction, focusing on high-end sports cars, high fashion and glamour, as its monthly sales figures sink along with other male-focused magazines. Lanphear is the second woman to hold the top edit role at Maxim. WSJ

 73 questions with Anna Wintour. Fashion Week just ended in New York City, and the typically tight-lipped Vogue editor let her team turn the camera on her for a new video series. From what time she wakes up in the morning to her biggest phobia to the one thing she would never wear, Wintour gives a peak into her top-secret lifestyle. Vogue 

 

BROADVIEW

Highest-paid female executive seeks immortality—digitally

Martine Rothblatt, the founder of both Sirius satellite radio and pharmaceutical company United Therapeutics, was the highest-paid female executive in America last year with total earnings of $38 million. She also happens to be transgender. 

Born "Martin," Rothblatt became a space law expert and later founded the satellite radio service Sirius. Sirius XM has defied early skeptics and grown into a $20 billion company with more than 26 million subscribers. She also founded United Therapeutics to help find a cure for pulmonary hypertension, a disease that afflicts her daughter Jenesis. As Fortune has noted before, Rothblatt is a polymath whose futuristic ideas sometimes seem far-fetched, if not a little loopy, until they actually become reality.

In 1994, Rothblatt, then a man, underwent sexual reassignment surgery. She has remained married to her wife, Bina Aspen, throughout (her wife even inspired Rothblatt to build a robot in her likeness, named BINA48).

Most recently, Rothblatt is the author of a book about the ethics and morality of cyberconsciousness. She sat down with Fortune reporter Robert Hackett to talk about her career and new book, Virtually Human: The Promise—and the Peril—of Digital Immortality.

How does it feel being the highest-paid female CEO?

It’s a little bit embarrassing, because all of this attention is on you and I’m not really a person that normally hogs attention. I like to tell people that our ticker symbol, “UTHR,”  stands for Under The Radar. Here I am obviously over the radar, so it’s a little embarrassing.

I feel it’s a little bit awkward, too, because I’ve only been a women for half of my life—and there’s no doubt that I’ve benefited hugely from being a guy. I feel I’ve had what a person who took a woman’s studies course would call “male privilege.” There’s no doubt I’ve had male privilege. So I feel a little bit awkward saying that I’m the highest-paid female. I do point out that in all the other years there’s been a woman who has been a woman her entire life, who has identified as being female. I’m more like the exception.

Of the world's most powerful women in business, people have generally heard of Mayer (Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer), Whitman (Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman), but Rothblatt not so much. How do you feel about having been so under the radar?

For somebody to say I’m in the company of Marissa Mayer, Meg Whitman, my biggest impression is I’m just honored. If somebody asks, Am I a role model for women? It’s like I said at the beginning. I don’t think I can really claim that because half my life I didn’t have to work as hard as a Marissa or a Meg. I never felt like I must have biological children through pregnancy, and to take that time out. I never had that on me as an obligation or anything. It would probably be most accurate to say that I’m a role model for transgender people, because most transgender people kind of feel like their options are very limited. To let other transgender people see that you can have a happy, successful professional life—I hope I’m a role model for them.

Click over to Fortune.com to read Hackett's full interview with Rothblatt. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

 Meet one powerful 10-year-old. Sabrina Lane is a huge fan of Minecraft, a build-it-yourself game soon to be sold to Microsoft for more than $2 billion. Lane wrote an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella with some advice on how to handle the deal. The 10-year-old New York City resident happens to be the daughter of longtime Fortune investigative writer and senior editor Jennifer Reingold. Clearly, the apple didn't fall far from the tree.  Fortune

We might be stuck with Roger Goodell.  The National Organization for Women may have called on the NFL commissioner to resign in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal, but sports industry execs are saying the move is unlikely. “It will take something even more colossal, more monumental and irreparable,” one expert told Bloomberg. Also, as Fortune's Dan Roberts wrote, an FBI-style investigation into the situation will probably help Goodell's case.  Bloomberg

Stop talking about "work-life balance." Jody Miller, CEO of Business Talent Group, hates the term, and thinks corporations need to rethink the typical 9-to-5 work structure. "Everyone is talking about flexibility and work-life balance, and I think those are becoming red herrings and are stopping us from solving the problem," says Miller. "Flexibility is not sufficient if you still have a job that is structured to require 50, 60 hours per week."  Fast Company

ON MY RADAR

Women senators fight the NFL   HuffPost

Fox News blows it again  Policy Mic

How to lead with a light touch  Fast Company

Crowdfunding sites excludes abortions  HuffPost

Katie Holmes makes directorial debut  Entertainment Weekly

QUOTE

Often times, when you do something that no one else has done, sometimes it can get messy. I dug in and stuck with it. I understand there are obstacles and that women are different from men. I’m an optimist. We’ve made great ground and we’ll continue to make ground. I think we are seeing real positive change. 

Maria Bartiromo on being one of the first female financial journalists