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This Is Every CEO’s Worst Nightmare

Delta Reports Quarterly EarningsDelta Reports Quarterly Earnings
A passenger waits for her luggage in the Delta baggage claim at O'Hare International Airport.Scott Olson — Getty Images

Delta Airlines (DAL) still isn’t back to normal at the time of writing, after a computer crash Monday forced cancellation of 1600 flights over two days. The company said about 90 more cancellations were expected this morning, before normal operations resume around midday.

The airline company initially blamed Georgia Power for its problem, but later concluded it was the malfunction of a “power control module” that caused a surge to the company’s main computer network. “When this happened, critical systems and network equipment didn’t switch over to backups,” Chief Operating Officer Gil West said. “Other systems did. And now we are seeing instability in these systems.”

Got that? It is every modern CEOs worst nightmare – an inexplicable breakdown of computer systems that brings the whole company to a crashing halt. CEO Ed Bastian, who assumed office in May, took to Twitter twice to abjectly apologize for the mess, saying this is “not who we are.” Today, I’m afraid, it is.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump, who abandoned his teleprompter even faster than I expected, is not apologizing for his comment yesterday about “second amendment people” stopping Hillary Clinton. His supporters are blaming the media for misconstruing the remark as a reference to assassination, and say he was simply referring to the political power of second amendment supporters. We’ll let you do your own construing, by watching here. The brouhaha overshadowed a release of new emails showing the tight relations between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.

And Team USA brought in more gold yesterday, as Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian ever, with 21 gold medals, while young Katie Ledecky, who may some day surpass him, won her third.