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Data Sheet—Monday, August 15, 2016

Tim Cook values privacy highly but he’s often much more candid than his former boss, late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. For one thing, he doesn’t shy away from discussing his “screw-ups.”

Take his first hire to run Apple’s retail store strategy, former Dixons CEO John Browett, who lasted just six months. “He didn’t fit here culturally is a good way to describe it,” Cook told The Washington Post, in a wide-ranging interview published over the weekend to mark his fifth anniversary as CEO. (He took another year to find someone who did, former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts.)

Another mistake you may already have forgotten (by design): Apple’s misguided decision back in 2012 to replace Google as the default map app on iPhones—sending people to roads that didn’t exist and completely ignoring public transportation. Cook’s response: Apologize publicly and move on. He told the Post:

“The classic big-company mistake is to not admit their mistake. They double down on them. Their pride or ego is so large that they can’t say we did something wrong. And I think the faster you do that, the better — change gears to something else. If you’re honest, people will give you the benefit of the doubt.”

Have you noticed that people are asking the question “What would Steve do?” far less frequently.

Heather Clancy is a contributing editor at Fortune. Reach her via email.


Adoption of new transatlantic data pact proceeds slowly. Microsoft applied for certification under the new privacy and transfer rules right away, one of 40 U.S. businesses to do so. Privacy Shield, which took effect Aug. 1, replaces the now-defunct Safe Harbor agreement originally adopted in 2000. There were roughly 4,000 companies certified under the old rules. (Wall Street Journal)

IBM scores Workday as customer for its cloud. The business software company, which specializes in systems that automate human resources and finance teams, is signing a seven-year contract to use IBM’s SoftLayer service for testing and developing new applications. (Wall Street Journal)

Samsung times smartwatch refresh just before Apple briefing. Its Gear S3 introduction appears planned for a German electronics show on Sept. 1, one week before its rival’s annual autumnal product launch extravaganza. (AndroidCentral)

SoftBank’s ‘social robot’ visits North America. The 4-foot-tall humanoid, dubbed Pepper, was designed to handle brief, repetitive interactions, such as offering directions or other context-relevant information. There are 10,000 of them being used in stores and hotels across Europe and Japan. (Ars Technica)

Groupon is regrouping. The eight-year-old company best-known for revolutionizing the “daily deals” category is on pace to generate $3 billion in revenue this year. Even more striking, Groupon’s stock is up 90% since Rich Williams took over as CEO last November. (Wall Street Journal)

Brace yourself for more outages like Delta’s. Airlines love touting their check-in kiosks, real-time luggage tracking and slick mobile apps but they haven’t dated the reservation systems behind them in decades. (Reuters)


Millionaire ad-tech entrepreneur gets one-year jail sentence. Gurbaksh Chabal, founder of ad-tech companies RadiumOne and Gravity4, pled guilty to domestic violence and battery in 2014. A second victim last year chose not to press charges, but a judge found that the attack violated Chabal’s probation. (Fortune)

Flipboard’s founder is back at Apple. Evan Doll left his post as an iPhone software engineer in 2009 to work on his then-revolutionary news app, one since emulated by the Apple News service. Doll quietly rejoined his former employer last month and is now director of strategy for Apple’s burgeoning health software initiative. (Fortune, Bloomberg)

Auto-tech expert replaces legendary Cypress CEO founder. Lebanese-born Hassane El-Khoury, who joined Cypress in 2007 from Continental Automotive Systems, was promoted late last week. The company’s founder, T.J. Rodgers, was CEO for an astonishing 34 years. He announced plans to retire in April. (Wall Street Journal)


Intel greets geeks. The microprocessor giant will outline roadmaps for artificial intelligence, sensors, and virtual reality for thousands of developers at its annual conference in San Francisco. It is pushing aggressively to move beyond personal computers, which still account for half its revenue. (New York Times)


The $99 Peripheral That Turns Your Smartphone Into a Laptop, by David Z. Morris

WhatsApp and Skype May Be More Heavily Regulated in the EU, by David Meyer


Even the NFL listens to this beauty-contestant-turned-small-business-adviser. Carol Roth, author of bestselling book The Entrepreneur Equation, started her career as an investment banker. On the latest Fortune Unfiltered podcast, Roth dishes on her vocation as adviser to small businesses. Listen here.

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Heather Clancy.

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