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The Broadsheet: February 3rd

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Nordstrom is dropping the Ivanka Trump brand, an ad about equal pay draws online hate, and women are taking over retail. Have a relaxing weekend.


• Trend of the season? The Broadsheet usually covers women’s career news in our ‘Movers and Shakers’ section, but the upheaval that just rippled through the retail industry deserves special attention. In the past 24 hours or so, three—yes, three—women have been named to lead major retailers. Here’s the update:

Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch: Most recently the company’s head of merchandising, Horowitz is now at the helm of the teen fashion company. She is Abercrombie’s first CEO since 2014, when Michael Jeffries stepped down after over two decades at the helm.

Daniella Vitale, CEO of Barneys New York: Vitale was been promoted from COO to chief of the luxury retailer. Her mentor Mark Lee, who has been Barneys’ CEO since 2010, was named executive chairman.

Jane Nielsen, CFO of Ralph Lauren: Unlike Horowitz and Vitale, Nielsen finds herself in the top job in a temporary capacity. She came to Ralph Lauren as CFO in September of last year, joining from Coach, where she held the same position. Yesterday, CEO Stefan Larsson announced that he’s leaving in May over differences with the retailer’s namesake founder and board, and Nielsen was tapped to lead the company’s turnaround efforts while it searches for a new chief.


• Out of fashion? In more retail news, Nordstrom says it will stop selling Ivanka Trump items this season. While the move follows boycotts by some shoppers who are angered by her father, President Donald Trump, and his White House policies, the retailer says its decision is based on the brand’s sales performance. Fortune

• 3 out of 8 ain’t bad. Trump is meeting with eight CEOs today to discuss issues such a taxes, regulation, and women in the workforce. Three women—PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi, IBM’s Ginni Rometty, and GM’s Mary Barra made the list. Interestingly, however, both of the chiefs slated to speak about women in the workforce are men. WSJ

• Friedman’s fight. When Nasdaq Inc. named Adena Friedman CEO in November, she won attention for being young, tech-savvy and the first woman to lead a major U.S. stock exchange. Now, it’s up to the 47-year-old (who happens to have a black belt in taekwondo) to differentiate the exchange from its competition (NYSE being its fiercest rival) and keep it relevant altogether. Friedman plans to keep pursuing her predecessor’s strategy of diversifying away from the stocks business into financial technology. WSJ

• Hall heads out. The National Association of Black Journalists is accusing NBC of “whitewashing” after the network announced that anchor Tamron Hall is leaving the Today show, as well as her MSNBC program. Her exit comes several months after her original Today co-star Billy Bush left the show and less than a week after the network revealed that it would scrap it’s current 9 a.m. hour to make room for Megyn Kelly’s forthcoming morning show. People

• Social graces. Natalie Jones is reportedly a leading candidate to be President Trump’s new social secretary, a position that reports to the first lady. Jones’ background would make her an interesting pick: She was appointed deputy chief of protocol at the State Department by President Obama in 2011 (she resigned last month) and was previously a finance director at the DNC and for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign. According to the Washington Post, her selection would “signal that Melania Trump is willing to turn to political veterans, and not just those in the tight New York circle that the Trumps inhabit, to steer her tenure in Washington.” Washington Post

• Global gabfest. This week on Broad Strokes, I’m joined by Claire Zillman, Fortune’s London correspondent and author of our global newsletter, World’s Most Powerful Women. We talk Sheryl Sandberg, Pew research on women in the workplace, and Theresa May. Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Gina Haspel has been named deputy director of CIA. Johnson & Johnson announced that group worldwide chair Sandra Peterson will add leadership of its Hospital Medical Device business to her current responsibilities.


• Common ground. Former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright sat on a panel at the Watermark Conference for Women this week, where both women critiqued President Trump’s travel ban. Rice described the executive action as “ill-considered and badly delivered.” Fortune

• Fair pay ‘propaganda?’ Audi’s new Super Bowl ad promotes gender pay equity—something not usually seen as a super controversial topic. But the version of the spot posted on YouTube has racked up more than 18,000 negative comments compared to around 1,110 positive ones, with some viewers calling it “anti-male propaganda.” WSJ

For kicks. A+E Networks, led by CEO Nancy Dubuc, is taking a 25% stake in the National Women’s Soccer League and will become home to the league’s Saturday games during its season. WSJ

• Is there a category for biggest sexist? After 2016’s #OscarsSoWhite campaign, is it time for #OscarsSoMale? This year, women account for just 20% of non-acting nominations and big awards like best director and cinematography have no female nominees.  The Hollywood Reporter

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Angelina Jolie: Refugee policy should be based on facts, not fear  New York Times

Nancy Pelosi: ‘White supremacist’ Bannon making America ‘less safe’  CNN

Melania Trump’s absence from Washington raises questions about her role  New York Times

This is how much it now costs to get married in the U.S. Fortune


I am being who I am and doing what I have to do. I am not trying to make some sort of big statement.
Jess Herbst, the mayor of New Hope, Texas, who has announced that she is transgender.