The Broadsheet: September 22nd

September 22, 2014, 11:03 AM UTC
Fortune

Good morning, Broadsheet readers. This week, everyone will be waiting to hear Marissa Mayer’s plan to lead Yahoo in a post-Alibaba IPO world. Read on to see why Fortune decided to profile a tobacco CEO, and to learn about the domestic violence case that no one is talking about. Have a great Monday.

EVERYONE'S TALKING

 All eyes on Mayer. Alibaba went public on Friday, with Yahoo selling around $5.1 billion worth of shares (it owned a 23% stake in the company pre-IPO). Now, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer must build the value of her company without relying on the Chinese Internet giant to prop up her stock. "There will be mixed emotions," an analyst told CNET. "Marissa will be happy, but there will be a lot of pressure." CNET

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

 Hillary on NFL, gender issues. Gender equality is “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” the former Secretary of State said Friday in a speech to the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum. Clinton also commented on the shortage of women on corporate boards, and said she was disappointed by the "outrages of the NFL." Bloomberg

 Oracle flirts with disaster. The software giant announced last week that CEO Larry Ellison was stepping down and appointing two successors: Longtime chief financial officer Safra Catz and former HP CEO Mark Hurd. Yet only three other Fortune 500 companies have dual CEOs, and there might be a reason why the arrangement is rare. It “causes conflict,” results in “negative performance by teams” and gives the two leaders “hostile mindsets,” a source told Fortune.  Fortune 

 Emma Watson talks gender equality. The actress known for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter series is also the UN Women's goodwill ambassador. Watson launched the United Nation's HeForShe campaign to invite men to take part in the global fight for equality. "The more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop," Watson said in her first major speech to the UN.  Telegraph 

 Mary Barra not surprised. The GM CEO said Friday she was not surprised that the death toll from the company’s faulty ignition switch recall jumped from 13 to 19. "There's been so much focus on the original number — but we've always said all along that was based on the information that we had available to us," she said. "There's no surprises. Our goal has been every person impacted is a part of that program and that's the process we're working through." Meanwhile, the company announced a new recall this weekend affecting nearly 222,000 cars. Detroit Free Press

Giffords tells full story. In Enough: Our Fight to Keep America Safe from Gun Violence, Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly recall the day when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire, killing six and wounding 14. The couple also reveals why they decided to confront Loughner when he went to trial. "We wanted Loughner and the world to know that the energy and dynamism that had propelled Gabby to a successful political career were still going strong."  NY Daily News

 From nutrition to cigarettes? Debra Crew, former president of Pepsi's North American nutrition division, is now president of tobacco company R.J. Reynolds. Crew, No. 44 on Fortune's Most Powerful Women list, had taken over the largest part of Pepsi's $13 billion nutrition business just last month.   WSJ 

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Bonita Stewart, VP of Partner Business Solutions (Americas) at Google, is now on the board of directors of Deckers Brands, the company behind UGG and Teva.

BROADVIEW

Why Fortune Profiled A Tobacco CEO

Who is Susan Cameron?

That’s the question that prompted Fortune Senior Editor Pattie Sellers to profile the CEO of Reynolds American in our new Most Powerful Women issue. Cameron, who is serving her second tenure atop the tobacco giant, came out of retirement in May and, just weeks later, announced the largest corporate acquisition ever by a female CEO: The $24.7 billion purchase of  Lorillard.

But Sellers, when assigned to the story, questioned the sense of writing about Cameron, as interesting as she is. Instead, she wanted to know if anyone cares about the tobacco industry anymore.

“There is a feeling here that people don’t really care about the tobacco business anymore,” says Sellers. “It is not exactly relatable.”

With fewer Americans smoking conventional cigarettes every year, many news organizations (including Fortune) have steered clear of spotlighting tobacco execs in favor of CEOs in other industries. Why write about a tobacco CEO when you can write about someone exciting in tech or consumer products? But after interviewing Cameron, Sellers realized she was a different kind of leader than those that came before her.

“She is a remarkably candid CEO, and she is more candid than probably anyone in the industry about the health hazards of conventional, or as they call it combustible, cigarette smoking,” says Sellers.

Cameron is aggressively steering Reynolds American away from conventional cigarettes in favor of e-cigarettes, which already have grown into a $2.5 billion industry. While the verdict is still out on the health hazards associated with e-cigarettes, for now Cameron’s investment seems like a somewhat socially responsible move.

“Smoking harms people,” says Cameron, “[E-cigarettes] have the potential to reduce harm.”

Cameron, despite the unique and hazardous industry in which she works, also provides lessons for other aspiring execs across industries.

“She is the kind of leader you need to get a complex deal done and she is the kind of leader you need to rethink a business model and get people behind you,” says Sellers. “The story is more relatable than you might presume it to be.”

To read Fortune’s full story on Cameron, click here.

 

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

 The domestic violence case no one is talking about. U.S. women's soccer player Hope Solo has been accused of domestic violence, and she still plays in a pro league as she awaits trial in November. Solo has pleaded not guilty to two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence against her half-sister and nephew.  WaPo

 Shonda Rhimes takes down NY Times critic. "When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called 'How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman,' television critic Alessandra Stanley deafly wrote on Friday. Rhimes, the creator of popular drama like Grey's Anatomy and Scandal (plus No. 50 on Fortune's Most Powerful Women list in 2013), took to Twitter to criticize the writer's offensive remarks. "Confused why @nytimes critic doesn't know identity of CREATOR of show she's reviewing. @petenowa [the show's writer] did u know u were 'an angry black woman'," she wrote. HuffPost

 TV's mighty women. Madam Secretary, a new political drama starring Téa Leoni, debuted Sunday and it's already clear that Hillary Clinton was the obvious inspiration for Leoni's character. It isn't the only show on CBS to draw on Hillary's past for plot queues: The Good Wife, starring Julianna Margulies, is about a politician’s wife whose husband is brought down by a sex scandal.  NYTimes

ON MY RADAR

Avon goes from “Ding Dong” to “Click Click”  Fortune

Who runs the girls? NYTimes

Do toy companies need more women on top?  The Atlantic

12 athletes who lost their endorsements  Fortune

The NFL is not a nonprofit  Slate

Why men never remember anything NYMag 

QUOTE

I got it wrong on a number of levels, from the process that I led, to the decision that I reached. But now I will get it right and do whatever is necessary to accomplish that. I let myself down, I let everyone else down, and for that I’m sorry.

Roger Goodell speaks out on the NFL's handling of the Ray Rice case.