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CEO Daily: Monday, September 14

September 14, 2015

Donald Trump aimed his blunt bazooka at CEO pay during an appearance on CBS Face the Nation Sunday. “It’s disgraceful,” he said of high CEO salaries. “It’s a total and complete joke.”


He then took gratuitous aim at Macy’s, which has dropped his men’s clothing line in the wake of his comments about immigration. “You take a company like, I could say Macy’s or I could say many other companies, where they’ll put in their friend as the head of a company and they get whatever they want.”


Trump went on to say that “it’s very hard if you have a free enterprise system to do anything about that.” Meanwhile, he promised to unveil a tax plan that would have lower taxes for companies repatriating earnings, and higher taxes “for the hedge fund guys.”


The candidate also continued his attack on Carly Fiorina’s business record, citing “the top man at Yale Law School” as his source. By that he meant Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who is actually at the Yale School of Management, and wrote a thoughtful Fiorina analysis for Fortune that you can read here.


The nonstop bluster only seems to be boosting Trump’s support. A Washington Post poll out this morning shows he now has the support of 33% of Republicans – up nine points since mid-July. Jeb Bush has 8%. Scott Walker has plummeted to 2% from 13% in July.


If you take this as reality TV rather than a campaign to choose the leader of the free world, it’s fun to watch. Jimmy Fallon’s skit with Trump Friday night – in which Fallon, playing Trump, interviewed the real Trump in the mirror – is especially amusing.


Enjoy the day. Tomorrow will come.







Alan Murray

Top News


• Google hires auto veteran

Google has hired John Krafcik, most recently president of online car shopping service TrueCar, as CEO of the search engine company’s self-driving car project. Krafcik also previously worked at Ford and Hyundai Motor America and is known for his product development expertise, having previously worked as chief engineer for the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator vehicles. The hire signals to some that Google is serious about the company’s self-driving car project, which is launched in 2009.  Fortune

• Shire may sweeten Baxalta bid

Dublin-based Shire, which last month made an unsolicited $30.6 billion stock proposal for U.S. firm Baxalta, is mulling options for sweetening the bid – including ways to put cash into shareholders’ hands sooner. Shire had previously promised a quick share buyback program after the deal closed by Baxalta rejected the offer as too low anyway. Now, sources say, Shire is trying to weigh a revised deal without jeopardizing the tax-free status of Baxalta, which was spun off from Baxter in July.  WSJ (subscription required)

Nintendo names new president

Nintendo has named insider Tatsumi Kimishima as the video game maker’s new president, an announcement that comes after the death of Satoru Iwata in July. Kimishima, Wired reports, rarely spoke publicly on behalf of Nintendo even when he previously served as CEO of Nintendo of America. As such, it is likely other Nintendo employees will step in to succeed Iwata’s role as the executive that often announced new games when Nintendo hosted video presentations.  Wired

Around the Water Cooler

Tiffany wants to sell more watches

Though luxury jewelry company Tiffany has a rich history in the watchmaking business, today it only generates 1% of sales from watches. The company is hoping that will change, as it more aggressively tackles a $27.8 billion luxury-watch market that is expected to grow 20% a year through 2019. Tiffany, which has recently launched the CT60 line of luxury watches, says it wants sales from watches to reach 10% of total revenue a decade from now.  Fortune

• Can Facebook bring VR to the phone?

Wall Street Journal is reporting Facebook is working on a  stand-alone video app that would support 360-degree or “spherical” videos, a format that would allow users to change their viewing perspective by tilting their phones. The social media company’s interest in virtual reality kicked into high gear after it paid $2 billion for Oculus VR last year, which sparked renewed investment in a sector that has seen hype seesaw the past few decades. Some analysts point out that Oculus will initially target hard-core gamers but that CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s own vision is much broader.  WSJ (subscription required)

• Etsy to test manufacturing program

Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade crafts, is about to make it easier for some sellers to outsource production. The e-commerce company this fall is testing a platform that would connect sellers in the U.S. and Canada to small manufacturers, making it easier for some to expand their businesses. There are concerns that such a move could also hurt Etsy, as the company built its online presence as a purveyor of locally made goods that weren’t mass produced. That could be a tougher sell as Etsy moves to help some boost production to generate higher sales – a strategy that could turn off some shoppers.  New York Times (subscription required)

5 things to watch for this week

Stocks, the Fed, and the GOP debate — 5 things to watch for this week. Today’s story can be found here.