CEO Daily: Monday, November 9

November 9, 2015, 12:02 PM UTC

Good morning. Volkswagen’s problems deepened over the weekend, as the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that several engineers admitted manipulating carbon dioxide emissions data. Why did they do it? According to Bild, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn had declared at the Geneva auto show in March 2012 that VW wanted to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2015, and the engineers “did not dare to tell him that this would be difficult to achieve.”


Separately, Nils Smedegaard Andersen, CEO of A.P. Moeller-Maersk, tells Bloomberg that the global economy is going to grow more slowly next year than the IMF forecast of 3.6 to 3.8 percent. The shipping company handles about 15 percent of all consumer goods transported by sea, so has a useful window on global trade. “We see less growth – particularly in developing nations, but perhaps also in Europe…We’re a little bit more pessimistic than most forecasters.”


And if you went to bed early Saturday and missed Donald Trump’s much-touted appearance on Saturday Night Live, no worries. He bombed.


More news below. Wondering who Fortune’s Business Person of the Year is? Send your guesses my way. We reveal on Thursday.


Top News

Apache receives takeover bid

The oil and natural gas company, worth more than $18 billion, has reportedly received an unsolicited takeover approach that it has rejected. A deal for Apache would be the largest for an independent oil and gas producer in the U.S. this year – but it could take some convincing. Bloomberg reports that the company has hired Goldman Sachs to work on a defense. The potential buyer could not be immediately identified. Bloomberg

 Weyerhaeuser to buy Plum Creek

Weyerhaeuser's planned $8.4 billion acquisition of Plum Creek will make the company the nation's largest private owner of timberland, a deal that will create a $23 billion firm based on current prices. Weyerhaeuser CEO Doyle Simons will lead the company as president and CEO, while Plum Creek chief Rick Holley will serve as non-executive chairman. The combined company is expected to focus on the U.S. market. There are also plans to sell or spin off Weyerhaeuser's cellulose fibers business segment. Seattle Times

Wall Street bonuses likely to fall

Bonuses in the financial industry are expected to drop 5% to 10% this year, according to an annual report by the compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates. It would be the first year since 2011 that compensation for the industry as a whole is projected to drop. A deeper dive shows there are some bright spots, including mergers-and-acquisition work and private equity, though most of the largest segments are facing challenges. Another problem? Finance is losing its allure for young talent to tech, where some offers are better. New York Times (subscription required)

Electric car startup fuels speculation

A mysterious electric-car startup called Faraday Future, which has promised a $1 billion investment that suggests it wants to take on Telsa Motors, is raising eyebrows because of the lack of information about who exactly is backing the project. Some suggest Faraday could be fronting for Apple, while others report that the company's incorporation papers suggest it is linked to a Chinese tech billionaire. It is also being reported that Faraday has 400 employees and operates from a highrise outside of Los Angeles. USA Today

Around the Water Cooler

Climate change's impact on poverty

More than 100 million people could be dragged into poverty by 2030 due to climate change, a new World Bank report warns, mostly due to difficulties producing crops. Poor nations in particular face the most risk as global warming worsens, with regions in Sub-Saharan African and South Asia projected to be the worst hit by high temperatures. Poor households are also most vulnerable to higher food prices – and poor communities are often built in areas that are at risk to flooding. Time

Indian startups are boosting salaries

Venture capitalists have already poured $4.54 billion into India's startups so far this year – above the $4 billion invested last year. But a shortage of skilled workers is also driving up wages, and resulting in a big hurdle to firms' expansion plans. While the nation is home to millions of information-technology workers, the Wall Street Journal reports that few of them have the abilities that startups crave. Some of the bigger Indian firms are angling to lure talent from the U.S. and elsewhere to serve in top jobs. WSJ (subscription required)

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