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CEO Daily: Monday, July 13

Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference starts today in Aspen, and I’ll be keeping you informed of key insights that emerge throughout the week. My day starts with a 25-mile morning bike ride, at a pace set by the Type-A executives who attend this annual event. If I survive that, I’ll be moderating a discussion between two CEOs who are trying to build/rebuild their companies on the back of the Internet of Things – Flextronics CEO Mike McNamara and Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly.


I mentioned last week the new McKinsey study that predicts the Internet of Things will create as much as $11 trillion of economic value in 2025 – which means it will account for roughly one tenth of global economic output. (One of the authors of that study – Michael Chui – will be on hand in Aspen.) McKinsey says the bigger source of value will be in the business world, where technology will remake the foundations of most large companies. That’s the space McNamara wants to play in. But another third will be in connecting consumers – connecting devices in the home, automating home chores, creating self-driving cars, etc. Joly says one-third of an $11 trillion market is plenty big enough for him to play in.


Other participants this week: You Tube CEO Susan Wojcicki, KKR co-CEO Henry Kravis, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, the Emanuel brothers Ari & Rahm, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, Medium CEO Ev Williams, KPCB General Partner John Doerr, CVS EVP Helena Foulkes, Softbank President Nikesh Arora.


Stay tuned.


Alan Murray

Top News

Greece bailout agreement reached

The Eurozone agreed to start talks over a new $90 billion three-year bailout program in return for a list of creditors’ demands that will test Greece’s leadership and population. However, it could be tough for this package to stick, especially in Greece where it must implement even tougher conditions than the ones it had offered in the past. The new agreements will send Greece’s overall debt load soaring to around 200% of gross domestic product. Fortune

Nintendo president dies

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who led the video game maker through one of the most successful periods in its history, has died at the age of 55. The news shocked the industry, as he had appeared in a marketing video just last month, though in truth he had been fighting the bile duct growth for two years. Iwata was the fourth person to serve as president of Nintendo. Fortune

Can Reddit save itself?

Tensions at Reddit, the so-called “front page of the Internet,” led to the abrupt departure of CEO Ellen Pao on Friday after a  user revolt was stirred up by some of the site’s unpaid moderators – who felt they were not getting the support they deserve. Reddit’s original co-founders have taken control again in an attempt to fix some cracks that have formed in their community. Fortune

Firms pledge to hire “disconnected youth”

A coalition of executives from some major U.S. companies, spearheaded by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, have pledged to hire 100,000 young Americans who have been shut out of the job market. The initiative – which launches today – aims to help some of the estimated 5.5 million Americans between the ages of 16 to 24 who aren’t employed or in school. 16 companies have joined the cause, including CVS Health, JPMorgan Chase, Macy’s, Potbelly, Walgreens and Walmart. USA Today

Around the Water Cooler

Tech giants step up after Sony hack

After the massive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, a small chapter remains untold: the decision by Google and Microsoft to distribute Sony’s movie on their video-on-demand platforms at a time when no one else would. While Google declined to discuss its thinking, Microsoft spoke to Fortune in detail about why his company decided to act. But Microsoft wanted to be prepared: it scrambled a team of engineers to investigate the threat and harden the company’s cyber-defenses. Fortune

Asia’s rising herd of unicorns

Investments in tech start-ups are escalating at the same swift pace across Asia as in the United States, with 46 Asian start-ups raising $100 million or more in the first six months of this year, just two shy of the total in North America. Asia banks, private equity firms and venture capital funds, as well as American investors, are all showing willingness to invest. So far this year, Asia has generated 11 unicorns – start-ups worth $1 billion or more – compared to North America’s 19. New York Times (subscription required)

Lego to undergo a long makeover

Lego is planning a 15-year-long research project to come up with a bio-based alternative to the petroleum-based plastic that the company has used to make its bricks for decades. The lengthy process, going to 2030, is needed because none of today’s alternatives to plastics meet the company’s standards for giving Lego bricks a consistent look and feel. ‘The ultimate prize would be not to notice one brick from another” one executive said about the old Legos and the new bricks the toy maker wants to produce. WSJ (subscription required)

5 things to know this week

Greece’s bailout, Yellen, and bank earnings — 5 things to know this week. Today’s story can be found here.