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CEO Daily: Thursday, June 9

June 9, 2016, 11:02 AM UTC

Good morning.


Tuesday’s post on the best management advice from Fortune 500 CEOs – if you missed it, click here – prompted a minor flood of offerings from CEO Daily readers. Since there seems little news of note today – other than George Soros’ dismal bet on the global economy – I’ll share a few here:


“Be prepared to work yourself out of a job.”


“Grow or stagnate.”


“Don’t think you’re blameless just because you’re clueless.”


“People tend to overestimate the near term and underestimate the long term.”


“Don’t worry about what you can’t control.”


Every organizational design is evil. Organize for the rule, manage for the exception.”


“Leaders eat last.”


Keep ’em coming. Maybe I’ll start a management Twitter feed.


Also this morning, we are publishing Jennifer Reingold’s piece on struggling giant Procter & Gamble, No. 34 on the Fortune 500 list. While the company has 21 billion-dollar brands – Crest, Tide, Pampers, Downy, Swiffer, etc. – it hasn’t invented a new one from scratch in a decade. Under new CEO David Taylor, can it find its aim again?


News below.


Alan Murray

Top News

Modi calls for closer India-U.S. ties

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a closer security relationship between his country and the United States on Wednesday, in an address to the U.S. Congress stressing the importance of the warm relationship between the two countries. While speaking at a rare joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives, Modi said the traditional tools of military, intelligence or diplomacy were not enough to fight against the many levels of terrorism. And while Modi did not mention India's neighbors Pakistan or China specifically, he said deeper U.S.-Indian security cooperation should isolate anyone who harbors, supports or sponsors terrorists, and separate religion from terrorism. Reuters

Dong Energy debuts massive IPO

Dong Energy A/S became Europe’s biggest initial public offering this year, with investors lining up to own shares in the Danish utility as it transforms itself into a renewable energy giant. The world’s biggest offshore wind-park operator raised $2.6 billion on Thursday, with a lot of interest coming from both retail and professional investors. The stock jumped 10% in early trading. The Danish state will remain Dong’s biggest owner, with just over 50% of the shares, followed by Goldman Sachs. Various Danish governments had attempted to bring Dong to the public markets since as far back as 2004. It finally went through with the deal this week as Dong still aims to sell its oil unit so it can rebrand itself as a company focusing on greener technology. Bloomberg

Ralph Lauren poaches Coach CFO

Ralph Lauren's new chief executive has hired a top executive from rival Coach to join his team, part of a broader management shake-up at the luxury brand, The Wall Street Journal reports. Among several management changes that are being announced Thursday is the hiring of Coach Chief Financial Officer Jane Hamilton Nielsen, who will be named to the same role at Ralph Lauren. Nielsen, who will start the new job on Sept. 6, will have oversight of procurement, store operations and information technology. That news comes two days after Ralph Lauren unveiled plans to cut jobs and close stores as the brand struggles with a prolonged period of weak sales. The apparel maker and retailer also disclosed sales targets for the year that missed Wall Street's expectations and booked charges of up to $400 million. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Fiat Chrysler, Uber mull partnership

Automaker Fiat Chrysler and ride-hailing service Uber are reportedly in early talks to ink a partnership that could be announced by the end of the year, according to various media reports, though specifics related to the potential deal remain a bit of a mystery. Fiat Chrysler is reportedly one of several auto companies that Uber is talking to in recent weeks. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Uber is hunting for new partners after some of its largest rivals inked their own deals, including Apple's $1 billion investment in Chinese ride-hailing startup Didi Chuxing and General Motors' $500 backing of Lyft. Fiat Chrylser, meanwhile, has been more open than others in terms of working with Google as it lacks its own resources to develop self-driving features. Fiat has also reportedly had initial contacts with on self-driving cars for the web retailer's deliveries. Bloomberg

Around the Water Cooler

Airbnb CEO has "zero tolerance" for discrimination

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky took a stand against discrimination among those that list their homes on the website's platform, adding that the company is taking real steps to address that growing concern. His comments came on the heels of recent headlines about black users experiencing disproportionate discrimination by hosts or guests on Airbnb's home-sharing website. And over the weekend, a transgender woman tweeted about being denied an Airbnb rental after disclosing to her host that she was transgender. Chesky added that the company plans to review how its website and apps are designed and address any areas where the product facilitates discrimination. Fortune

Google Fi Mobile adds a third carrier

Google is adding a third mobile carrier, U.S. Cellular, to its Fi wireless service to improve coverage for subscribers. Subscribers to the Fi service, which currently relies on coverage from Sprint and T-Mobile, get phones that automatically seek out the strongest signal. The third network will become available via a software update to Fi subscribers in "coming weeks." U.S. Cellular, unlike the other two Fi partners, doesn't provide nationwide high-speed LTE coverage, the fastest current standard for mobile data. Its LTE network covers only 23 states. Google says its Fi customers can get some connection 99% of the time and an LTE connection 95% of the time, even without the participation of the largest carriers, AT&T and Verizon. Fortune

Diet Pepsi may see another change

PepsiCo is on the verge of making another big move to help turnaround the fortunes of the flailing Diet Pepsi brand. The Wall Street Journal reports executives notified some bottlers that they plan to discuss with them on Thursday an action plan to stabilize diet cola. The problem? The snack and beverage giant last summer introduced aspartame-free Diet Pepsi, removing one artificial sweetener and substituting another, sucralose, in an attempt to be more on trend with today's consumers. Concerns about aspartame have been named as the top reason Americans are ditching soda because of health concerns, even though the sweetener is deemed safe. But other substitutes are also viewed warily over health concerns, and Diet Pepsi fans reportedly don't like the taste of the new recipe. Sales declines for the beverage have accelerated since the change was made by PepsiCo. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)