Power Sheet: Hillary Needs a Plan to Keep Bill Busy


Brief thoughts on strategy and leadership in the news:

-Would Bill Clinton be “executive chairman?” When CEOs step down, they often stay on as chairman or executive chairman, the latter title usually meaning that they are, in effect, still CEO but with more free time. Sometimes it makes sense if the old CEO’s continued presence is necessary to calm nervous investors or customers during the transition. But frequently it merely hampers the new CEO, who constantly has the old boss looking over his or her shoulder. A similar concern will be unavoidable if Hillary Clinton wins in November. Her husband remains highly popular, as his TV ratings on Tuesday night showed, and many features of his tenure –a strong economy, a roaring bull market, and bi-partisan cooperation on several issues – look like a dream compared with the 16 years that have followed. Just as important, he loves all parts of the game – the politics and the policy-making. Team Clinton must somehow cash in on his popularity while persuading voters that the old boss wouldn’t be quietly directing the new CEO.

-Pope Francis says “the world is at war,” but the Dems go light on the topic. None of the 61 speakers on Day One of the convention mentioned ISIS, Islamic State, terror, terrorist, or terrorism, says PolitiFact, and speakers on the following two nights have on the whole treated the issue lightly. The Republicans, by contrast, talked about it almost constantly at their convention. Classic strategy is to downplay issues that the other side loves, but news events may force the Dems to rethink. With terrorism in Europe becoming an epidemic, and the Pope saying “the world is at war” when asked about the killing of an 85-year-old Catholic priest in France by two ISIS “soldiers,” the Democrats risk looking clueless.

-Outraged by Donald Trump’s remarks on Russian hackers? If so, he’s delighted. He has built his career on staying in the news. He understands in his bones how it’s done. So when he invites Russia to release Clinton’s 30,000 missing emails, he knows exactly what he’s doing. Any other candidate would be doomed. Policy experts across the political spectrum are shocked. His supporters couldn’t care less. And this morning his name is on the front page above the fold, or its digital equivalent, around the world. That strategy got him the nomination, and so far he’s refusing to do the classic post-convention pivot to a more centrist campaign. The great question now is whether outraging the grown-ups can win him the presidency. I’m still betting not.

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What We're Reading Today

Obama positions Clinton as the way forward
In a speech attacking Donald Trump's cynicism, President Obama made the case for Hillary Clinton as president. Speaking on Day Three of the Democratic National Convention, he said, "there has never been a man or a woman" more qualified to serve as president than Clinton. The election is vastly important to Obama's legacy; a Trump presidency could roll back Obamacare and other policy changes of his administration.  CNN

Trump asks Russia to hack for him
The GOP presidential candidate asked Russia to find "30,000 emails that are missing," referring to emails from Clinton's private email server that she didn't turn over to the State Department. It's unprecedented for a presidential candidate to ask a foreign nation to breach U.S. security. Speaking at the DNC, former CIA Director Leon Panetta called Trump's comment "irresponsible."  NPR

Facebook posts another huge profit... 
...but can this run continue? Mark Zuckerberg's company reported  59% higher revenue and 15% more active users. But investors wonder if Facebook can hold off  social media competitors and find new sources of hyper-growth. Zuckerberg has responded by introducing new ventures, such as virtual reality headsets, but they will take time to produce results. Fortune

Credit Suisse reports a surprise profit
Tidjane Thiam's company is attempting a complicated and risky transition away from investment banking and toward wealth management. Despite expectations that the Swiss bank would lose 37 million francs this quarter, it posted a 170-million franc profit. But investors aren't persuaded the revamp is working; they worry that this profit is just a bright spot in a difficult transition. WSJ

Building a Better Leader

Today's workforce is inspired more by...
...meaningful work that's part of a larger community than by dollars or job status, says a new survey. Companies that have developed this culture most effectively ask employees what would make their job easier. SmartBrief

It's tough to be too safe with your online data as a company leader
Top tech execs including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey, and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels have all been hacked. Fortune

Renault's board says it will reduce the CEO's pay package...
...after it ignored a 2015 shareholder vote on the issue, which caught the eye of French politicians. CEO Carlos Ghosn's bonus will be reduced by 20% and will be capped at 180% of fixed salary.  MarketWatch

Worth Considering

Ride hailing services to become legal in China
Travis Kalanick
's Uber and Jean Liu's Didi Chuxing have raised billions to expand their ride hailing services in China even though the business isn't entirely legal. That will change in November, but the services will be subject to extensive rules; drivers will need three years of experience, for example.   The Verge

Whole Foods international expansion plans hit a snag 
As Whole Foods tries to expand outside the U.S., it attempted to change its slogan from "America's Healthiest Grocery Store" to "World's Healthiest Grocery Store." The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the change, but John Mackey's company needs something to stimulate sales. Revenues in stores open at least a year fell for the fourth consecutive quarter, and the international expansion seems to have stalled; only 13 stores are set to open in Canada, though the original goal was for 80 to open by year-end. Washington Post

Bill Gates rejects the notion U.S. growth will slow...
...and he points to three innovations that will drive the economy. In reviewing Robert Gordon’s The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Gates says advanced robotics, searching for a cure for Alzheimer's, and discovering super materials will produce strong growth for many years. Fortune

Up or Out

Eileen Naughton has been promoted to Google's vice president of people operations. Fortune

Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter will retire at year-end. David Ricks will succeed him. WSJ

Fortune Reads and Videos

Oracle is buying NetSuite for $9.3 billion
The cloud software company is backed by Oracle chairman Larry Ellison and has long been rumored as a merger target for Oracle. Fortune

Wikileaks has published DNC voicemails
They seem to be mostly routine. Fortune

Comcast's biggest problem in its second quarter wasn't cord-cutters
It was movies from its Universal Studios. Flops like Warcraft and The Huntsman: Winter’s War cut into profits, which fell 5%.  Fortune

Apple has sold its billionth iPhone
The company hit the milestone last week. Fortune

Happy Birthday

Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, turns 43 today.  Hollywood Life
Produced by Ryan Derousseau

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