The Fortune Global Forum starts today, continuing until noon Wednesday, and you might be tempted to call it the Fortune Festival of Leadership. For sheer concentration of insights into top business leaders, this program will be hard to beat. So you should know that you needn’t be with us physically in San Francisco to benefit. Main-stage sessions will be livestreamed at Fortune.com/globalforum2015. For information on specific sessions and timing, visit www.fortuneconferences.com. Full sessions from the main stage will also be available on demand on our Fortune Magazine YouTube channel. You can follow what’s being tweeted about it at #FortuneGlobal.
Here’s some of what I’m most looking forward to:
This afternoon Ginni Rometty, who’s remaking IBM, and John Stumpf, who has guided Wells Fargo so successfully through and beyond the financial crisis, will talk with Fortune editor Alan Murray about the conference theme, Winning in the Disruptive Century – a challenge that every leader must understand (and that many don’t). Later today I’ll be especially intrigued to hear California Governor Jerry Brown and former British Petroleum CEO Lord John Browne discuss – and quite possibly disagree on – the future of energy. Also today: Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes will be onstage talking with others about the future of medicine and also about the crisis at her company, which was flying high until recent reports in the WSJ and elsewhere questioned the reliability of its revolutionary (or not) blood-testing technology. I wondered if she’d cancel her appearance, but she has re-confirmed that she’ll be here.
I always learn from Ram Charan, the famous consultant whose clients over the past 35 years have included many of the world’s top CEOs. He and I will open tomorrow with a session called The Algorithmic CEO. Then the topic shifts to a hot one today, Building Strategy Around Purpose. The idea of the leader enunciating a noble purpose for his or her company is hardly new, but often it has amounted to little more than warm and fuzzy words. Now we’re seeing some CEOs attempting to create, credibly, a purpose-based strategy. Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, and Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger will describe what they’ve learned about it.
Also tomorrow – it’s a big day – some heavyweight Silicon Valley star power: venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will talk about the mobile revolution (and, I suspect, anything else that’s on their minds), followed later by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on leading the 21st-century corporation – a company built from the ground up for the new realities that favor idea-intensive, asset-light, human capital-centered business models.
And then Wednesday, more star power: JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who has led extraordinarily well at Chase and elsewhere for the past two decades, talking with Alan Murray about the decade ahead.
Those are just highlights. I hope you can enjoy some of these next three days with us. I can’t wait to get started.
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What We’re Reading Today
Chipotle closes 43 stores after E. coli outbreak
The burrito chain shut all its stores in Portland, Ore., and Seattle after 17 people were diagnosed with E. coli after eating at a Chipotle within the past few weeks. Health officials expect the numbers to increase and believe the problem was in a fresh food product at the chain, run by Steve Ells. CBS News
Sprint to cut $2.5 billion with layoffs
The layoffs ordered by CEO Marcelo Claure could affect thousands of employees at the wireless carrier, reducing the company’s annual costs by about 10%. The company will also eliminate raises and reduce severance pay for laid-off employees as it tries to reduce its expense-to-sales ratio to industry norms, says the company. Fortune
Lionsgate turns to ‘Hunger Games’ theme parks
The Jon Feltheimer-run company will launch two theme parks, in Atlanta and Macau, based on the Hunger Games movies. It’s a big bet for Feltheimer and the $2.4 billion company, which will limit its risks by licensing the rights to developers who will build the parks. NYT
Questions surround a crashed Russian airliner
Russian air transport head Alexander Neradko said the plane carrying 224 people disintegrated at high altitude, eventually crashing into the Sinai Peninsula, where Egyptian troops and Islamic fighters battle. The findings raise the possibility that the plane was attacked, though the investigation continues and no conclusions have been reached. USA Today
Building a Better Leader
Bankruptcy laws are forcing retailers…
…to reorganize quickly or liquidate. One company had five days. Bloomberg
‘How well do you get along with robots?”
The latest job interview question you need an answer for. Fortune
If you want to set benchmarking goals…
…make sure you’re using the right comparisons. Harvard Business Review
Tesla’s troubles mount
Former General Motors vice-chairman Bob Lutz strongly condemned Elon Musk‘s company. Writing for Road and Track magazine, Lutz said “Tesla’s showing all the signs of a company in trouble: bleeding cash, securitized assets, and mounting inventory. It’s the trifecta of doom for any automaker.” Lutz concludes that investors and Musk must lower profit expectations and turn these problems around. Fortune
Biden’s second act
When his time in the White House end in January 2017, Vice President Joseph Biden may focus on cancer research. As his son Beau‘s cancer worsened, Biden turned to billionaire medical entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong for advice. Since Beau’s death, he has met with Soon-Shiong to discuss the state of cancer research and ideas for how to advance it. The project could be a monumental second act that appeals to Biden as he steps away from public office. NYT
Turkish elections end in landslide victory
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the elections, restoring the parliamentary majority it had in June. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fends off an attempt by reformers to unseat him, but he fell 14 parliamentary seats short of the number needed to change the constitution, which could have enabled him to increase his power. BBC
Up or Out
Martin Blessing, CEO of Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, has rejected a contract extension beyond Oct. 2016. MarketWatch
Former Senator and actor Fred Thompson died Sunday after a recurrence of lymphoma. He was 73. NYT
Fortune Reads and Videos
Morgan Stanley analysts predict a cold winter for retailers
They see just a 1.2% increase in holiday sales this year, far below last year’s 2.8% growth. Fortune
China arrests a top banker
In another arrest over the summer slide in China’s stock market, head of Shanghai Zexi Investment Xu Xiang, one of the country’s premiere private equity figures, was arrested. Fortune
Taylor Swift sued for ‘Shake it Off’
The $42-million suit brought by R&B singer Jesse Braham (stage name Jesse Graham) says Swift stole his lyrics. Fortune
Have women recovered from the recession?
A little. Fortune
Wisconsin Governor and former GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker turns 48 today. Biography
Political commentator and Reagan administration communications director Pat Buchanan turns 77. Biography
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|Produced by Ryan Derousseau|