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CEO Daily: Monday, January 4

January 4, 2016, 11:26 AM UTC


Good morning, and welcome to 2016.


Last year was transformative for FORTUNE. We’ve adapted a lot over the 86 years of our existence, but seldom so much in a single year. Among the changes:


–We became a digital-first news operation. We now publish 80-100 stories a day, read by nearly 17 million people each month. Our video audience grew fivefold, and we have one of the fastest growing mobile device audiences in the magazine world. The goal of this evolution: to get you quality business news, insights and advice, wherever, whenever and however you want it.



–We doubled the size of our technology reporting staff. The technologies that changed the consumer world over the last two decades are now bringing even more dramatic change to the world of business. Cloud and mobile computing, big data and data analytics, connected devices and the Internet of things, advanced robotics and drones, together are driving a new industrial revolution, and FORTUNE intends to be your guide.



–We moved. FORTUNE and its siblings departed the Time-Life Building in mid-town Manhattan and moved to new downtown, headquarters at 225 Liberty Street. It’s a long way from Connecticut (sigh), but has a bright, open office plan that is more conducive to collaboration and more in-line with our new, 24-7 operation. (Goodbye, privacy.) You can see a picture of the new space, as well as my editor’s note from the January magazine, here.



More changes ahead in the New Year. So stay tuned. And rest assured that some things won’t change – most importantly, our commitment to great business reporting and story telling.


More news below, including the global stock markets’ lousy welcome to the New Year.


Top News

Global stocks fall on China worries

Markets across the world opened 2016 on a sour note this morning after disappointing manufacturing data sent Chinese stocks into a tailspin that halted trading. European markets followed suit, with the FTSE 100 down roughly 2% and Germany's DAX off by more than 3% early Monday due to investor concerns over sluggish growth in China. As Fortune's Scott Cendrowski noted, today's rout could test Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent resolve to buck the country's trend of fighting slow economic growth with a string of big stimulus packages.  Fortune

Tesla meets 2015 shipment goal

Tesla Motors said over the weekend that it managed to top the low-end of its 2015 goal for shipping electric cars, but not by much. The company said it shipped 50,580 vehicles last year, which fell within Tesla's own target of shipping between 50,000 and 52,000 cars (albeit missing the initial forecast of 55,000). It's an important goal for Tesla to have reached, considering the electric car company's efforts to increase production of its Model S cars. Tesla shipped 75% more of the Model S cars in the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year earlier.   Fortune

Shire-Baxalta deal talks heat up

Dublin-based drugmaker Shire is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire rival biotech firm Baxalta for roughly $32 billion in cash and stock. Shire, which previously had a potential merger with Abbvie go up in smoke due to concerns over new inversion rules, approached Baxalta with an unsolicited offer in August but was initially rebuffed. A Shire-Baxalta tie-up would be the latest merger in the pharmaceutical industry, which saw a wave of consolidation in 2015.  Bloomberg

Fiat shares crash without Ferrari

Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles opened Monday trading cut down by a third one day after the company distributed its 80% stake in luxury sports car brand Ferrari to its shareholders. The Italian-American automaker announced the sale a year ago, and sold a smaller Ferrari stake in October, after three decades of controlling the Italian manufacturer.  Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Around the Water Cooler

Autos look to grab spotlight at CES

Automotive technology has taken on a larger role at the Consumer Electronics Show, the tech world's annual trade show, in recent years. This year's show, which kicks off this week in Las Vegas, should be no different. The auto industry will be well represented at this year's CES, where attendees are expected to flock to see the latest auto-related gadgets as well as new electric vehicles. Both General Motors' Mary Barra and Volkswagen's Herbert Diess will be among the show's keynote speakers, with both companies expected to showcase new, next-generation electric concept cars. Ford's Mark Fields will speak at FORTUNE's Brainstorm Tech dinner Tuesday night.   Fortune

Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's resolution

It's a new year, which means a new personal challenge for Facebook's CEO. Mark Zuckerberg, who in previous years has challenged himself to such tasks as learning Mandarin Chinese, said in a Facebook post over the weekend that his goal for 2016 is to "build a simple AI" for his home that would help him work. He likened the artificial intelligence helper to Iron Man's J.A.R.V.I.S. and called it "a fun intellectual challenge to code this for myself."   Fortune

How the NFL could combat concussions

With a new movie renewing the public's focus on head injuries to professional football players, the NFL is doubling down on efforts to promote technologies that might help prevent player concussions. The league has partnered with General Electric and Under Armour to give funding to a handful of concussion-related technologies that won top honors at the NFL's Head Health Challenge. Among them: a "rate-dependent" substance from the U.S. Army that could be applied a helmet strap to keep players' heads from snapping back too quickly after a big hit, as well as a new helmet design from the University of Washington that could absorb an impact better than current models.  Fortune

A record year at the movies

2015 was a big year for the global box office, with a record-setting $38 billion in worldwide movie ticket sales that passed the previous top mark from the previous year by more than $1 billion. Domestically, Hollywood pulled in more than $11 billion for the first time ever. Record-setting blockbusters like Universal's Jurassic World and Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens led the way for the movie industry's record haul. The new Star Wars installment, which made $1 billion globally faster than any film in history despite not being released in China until next weekend, continues to pull in major revenue and could challenge Avatar for the title of highest-grossing film ever.  The Hollywood Reporter

5 things to watch for this week

December jobs, CES, and gun laws—5 things to watch in the week ahead. This week's story can be found here.