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CEO Daily: Friday, July 17

Alan is taking a long weekend to celebrate both daughters’ birthdays, coincidentally in the same week. Back Monday. Today’s news below.


Alan Murray

Top News

• Mobile, YouTube give Google a boost

While Google’s web search engine is the tech giant’s money machine, mobile advertising represents both an opportunity and a risk as more users search on mobile but advertising on that platform hasn’t yet been figured out. Google said it is closing the gap, and also lauded a strong performance for YouTube. But investors also lifted shares because of new CFO Ruth Porat’s comments that she would keep costs in check. Fortune

• Jeb wants more companies like Uber

GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush posted his first entry on a newly created LinkedIn profile on Thursday, following Hillary Clinton who joined that social platform in May. But Bush isn’t on the same page when it comes to the “sharing” economy: he praised Uber as a service of the future, and took potshots at Clinton, who Bush claimed “rejected rejected some of the core elements of the shared economy.”  Fortune

Samsung victorious in proxy battle

Samsung’s founding family scored a win in a key proxy battle, defeating an activist investor that opposed a $8 billion deal meant to cement the company’s grip as a new generation is poised to take control of South Korea’s biggest conglomerate. U.S. hedge fund Elliott Associates had led a start against builder Samsung C&T Corp’s takeover of a sister firm, claiming the target was undervalued. A majority of shareholders disagreed, with some 68.53% supporting the tie-up.  Reuters

• IMF’s Lagarde: Greece needs help

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde claims European leaders will have to find a way to give more help to Greece if they want to keep the euro region together. Lagarde said a third bailout program worth some $94 billion over three years won’t work unless the euro area also lowers Greece’s debt burden to boost the nation’s growth prospects. Some methods that could be used: extending repayment periods or lowering interest rates.  Bloomberg

Around the Water Cooler

 Reddit changes the rules

Reddit, one of the Internet’s most popular websites, has admitted that as it has grown, unfettered free speech has come with some major baggage. The company is finally considering some restrictive guidelines to stop posts of harassment, illegal activities and several other problematic issues. The move is a reaction to the criticism that Reddit has been slow to respond to the darkest corners of the company’s website. Fortune

 Hulu explores ad-free option

Streaming provider Hulu is exploring a potential ad-free option to its service, as the company looks to become a stronger rival to Netflix. That would be a significant shift away from its current business model, which requires users to sit through ad breaks during programming even if they are paying for the subscription. But Netflix and’s Prime Instant Video don’t show ads, and they utilize that as a key selling point to consumers.  Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

 Banker who helped free U.S. hostages dies

A banker who was a runner-up for the top job at Citicorp in the 1980s and who helped devise a financial deal to free American hostages in Iran has died. Hans H. Angermueller, who died at 90, was a top executive at high-flying Citicorp at a time when the bank was emerging as an international behemoth. He also publicly lamented the anger big banks faced after the financial crisis, echoing the tone of many on Wall Street when the industry faced intense criticism.  New York Times (subscription required)

• Mattel has a Barbie problem

Christopher Sinclair, Mattel’s new Chairman and CEO, has inherited a big mess when it comes to Barbie. The doll – one of the toymaker’s most critical brands – has reported three years of sliding sales and is on pace for another annual decline this year after another dismal showing in the second quarter. Encouragingly, other brands that were once weak, like Fisher Price, appear to be turning around their performance. But Sinclair still has a lot of work to do to improve Mattel’s position in the toy aisle.  Fortune

5 things to know today

Samsung vote and GE earnings — 5 things to know today. Today’s story can be found here.