The Broadsheet: December 16

December 16, 2015, 12:53 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Padmasree Warrior is taking on Tesla, Roz Brewer gets sucked into a ridiculous racism dustup, and Abby Wambach plays her last match for Team USA. Have a wonderful Wednesday.


 Warrior takes on a new foe. Padmasree Warrior, the former chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco Systems, is the new U.S. CEO and global chief development officer at NextEV, a Chinese electric car startup that’s taking on Tesla. The new gig is Warrior's first venture into the auto industry and her first job at a startup. Fortune's Pattie Sellers talked with her about her unexpected career turn. Fortune


 She shoots, she scores. Abby Wambach, the world's top scoring international soccer player (who recently spoke at the Fortune MPW Next Gen Summit), plays her last-ever game for the U.S. national team tonight in New Orleans. To mark the occasion, NPR rounds up eight milestone moments in Wambach's legendary career. NPR

 Fiorina falters. Despite her record of strong debate performances, Carly Fiorina failed to shine in last night's GOP debate. Many of her attempts to insert herself in the foreign policy conversation were unsuccessful, and despite her tenure as Hewlett-Packard chief, there was skepticism about her talk of Silicon Vally cooperating with the government.  WSJ

 Sheryl crushes it. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg hosted a chat yesterday on Q&A site Quora, answering user questions like "Who is your role model?" and "What would you tell your younger self?" I particularly appreciated Sandberg's career advice, in which she quoted Pattie Sellers ("careers are not ladders but jungle gyms") and reminded readers that as long as you do something you love, "you will crush it." Fortune

 Not so sweet. Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of snack-food giant Mondelez, is a favorite target of activist investors Nelson Peltz and Bill Ackman, who often offer her unsolicited advice. "I’m frustrated with investors’ fascination with activists,” she says. “I’m successfully running Mondelez for all shareholders—without the activists’ help.” WSJ

 Money honeys. A new report finds that there are now 145 female billionaires, up from just 22 two decades ago. But let's not pop the Cristal just yet: Those super-rich women are still outnumbered 8-to-1 by their male counterparts. Fortune

 The biggest event in the galaxy. Speaking at the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy revealed a surprising series of coincidences behind the much-hyped film. For more inside scoop on the big premiere, check out this first-hand account from Fortune's Michal Lev-Ram.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Time Inc., Fortune's parent, has appointed Jennifer Wong as president of digital. Most recently, she served as chief business officer at PopSugar.


Today's Broadview is brought to you by Fortune's Jennifer Reingold.

Sam's Club CEO supports diversity, gets called a racist

As a co-chair of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit and the editor of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, I spend a lot of time thinking about the lack of diversity at the top levels of corporate America. My conclusion, sadly, is that while there are more women and people of color in the corner office than there used to be, the rate of change is still glacial. To wit: A November 2015 S&P Capital IQ report says that one additional female CEO joins the S&P 500 index every two years, suggesting that in order to double the current number of 21, we’ll need to wait 40-plus years (and that would still be a pathetic ratio).

So when I hear CEOs like Rosalind Brewer of Sam’s Club talk about diversity, I’m happy. And when I hear her say things like change needs to come from the top and that she intends to speak to the head of one of her suppliers about the lack of diverse faces around the table, I know (from speaking to both men and women alike about what works and what doesn’t) that this is one of the only ways to promote real change.

But not everyone had the same reaction I did. Indeed, after a clip of Brewer discussing diversity with CNN’s Poppy Harlow went viral, it unleashed a tweetstorm of calls to boycott Sam’s Club because of its “racist” CEO. “Black female CEO is Anti-White. Let’s get her fired,” tweeted @_alt_right, just to name one. Others comments about the African American chief were uglier.

The backlash was virulent enough that Walmart (and Sam’s Club parent) CEO Doug McMillon issued a statement on her behalf. “For years, we’ve asked our suppliers to prioritize the talent and diversity of their sales teams calling on our company,” he said. “Roz was simply trying to reiterate that we believe diverse and inclusive teams make for a stronger business. That’s all there is to it and I support that important ideal.”

To read Jennifer's full story, click here.


 Chelsea on the stump. Chelsea Clinton will be the solo headliner for two of her mom's campaign fundraisers in January, marking the first time she has stumped for Hillary on her own. Time

 Bitcoin bucks. Blythe Masters, one of the most powerful women on Wall Street during her tenure at JPMorgan, is attempting to raise a $35 million financing round at her bitcoin startup, which would value the company at $100 million. New York Post

 Earth, sea, and space. Kathryn Sullivan has been a NASA astronaut and Navy oceanographer, but her newest role may be her most challenging. Sullivan leads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is in an ongoing battle with Congress over a global warming study.  Washington Post

 Deja vu, Donald. Donald Trump is attacking Megyn Kelly on Twitter—yes, again. This time, the spat is over inaccurate poll numbers that the Fox anchor cited on her show, The Kelly File. Fortune

 Hitting it out of the park. Leonor Colon, an official with the MLB players’ union, has pulled off a feat that was once unthinkable: She's coordinating a good-will tour of Cuba.  New York Times

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Writer Elena Ferrante grants a rare interview to the FT  FT

This 116-year-old Brooklyn woman is the world's oldest person  New York Magazine

Singer Beth Ditto is launching her own plus-sized line  Racked

Why do women have a harder time sleeping than men?  New York Magazine


I fought my way to the top of corporate America while being called every B-word in the book.

Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, in last night's Republican debate

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