Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Ivanka Trump’s Oval Office photo op gets mixed reviews, American Girl gets a boy, and Ginni Rometty opens up to IBMers. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
• Getting engaged. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty sent employees an email last week explaining why she believes it’s important for her to continue serving on President Trump’s business council. She also directly addressed—for the first time—his controversial immigration ban.
Rometty, like other CEOs on Trump’s council, has gotten a lot of flack for engaging with Trump (she even had one employee very publicly resign over it). In her note, she points to the company’s long history of working closely with “every U.S. president since Woodrow Wilson.” IBM is and must remain nonpartisan, says Rometty, but that does not mean disengaging from politics. “Our experience has taught us that engagement…is the best path to good outcomes,” she writes.
Turning to the immigration order, the CEO says she spoke to Trump about how “advanced technology could address national security imperatives while also permitting lawful immigration and travel,” adding: “I explained that this is not an either/or choice.” Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Conway gets called out. The U.S. Office of Government Ethics has called on the White House to investigate Kellyanne Conway for promoting Ivanka Trump’s products in a TV interview last week. Appearing on Fox & Friends, Conway said she was taking a moment to “give a free commercial” for the first daughter’s line: “Go buy it today, everybody.” Time
• Compact car company. GM CEO Mary Barra is considering selling the company’s struggling Opel AG unit, a move that prioritizes profits over size. The sale would be a major break from the strategy the carmaker has pursued for a century. WSJ
• Money where her mouth is. Janet Yellen addressed the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, covering everything from quantitative easing (she wants to wind it down soon) to President Trump (she doesn’t want to talk about him).
• From SEC to D&P. Mary Jo White, the recently departed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is rejoining her former employer Debevoise & Plimpton LLP as a partner and taking on the newly created position of senior chair. White, now 69, had worked at the elite law firm multiple times prior to heading the SEC. WSJ
• Let’s go to the tape. Who would have guessed that Oprah Winfrey would play a role in the confirmation hearing of Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder? The media mogul’s network has given the Senate a 1990 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, in which Puzder’s ex-wife Lisa Fierstein alleges that he physically abused her in the 1980s. Expect the contents of the video to come up in Puzder’s hearing, which is scheduled for tomorrow. Fortune
• Worth 1,000 words. Ivanka Trump provoked a strong reaction—both positive and negative—by posting a photo of herself seated at the Oval Office desk, flanked by her father and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Her caption: “A great discussion with two world leaders about the importance of women having a seat at the table!” Fortune
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Drop it like it’s hot. This review of Tiffany Dufu’s Drop the Ball concludes that it “will likely be dubbed by many as the heir apparent to Lean In.” In the new book, Dufu argues that the best thing women can do to promote professional and societal equality is demand more from their partner at home. The Daily Beast
• An Olympic loss. In 2014, three aspiring Olympic taekwondo athletes told the U.S. Olympic Committee that they had been sexually abused by their coach, Marc Gitelman. But the USOC did nothing—and Gitelman continued working with children until he was convicted of sexual abuse more than a year later. Washington Post
• The right reasons. After more than 30—yes, you read that right—combined seasons of The Bachelor franchise (which includes both the male- and female-led versions of the show), producers have finally cast an African American as the lead. The next Bachelorette will be Rachel Lindsay, a lawyer competing on the current season of The Bachelor. Fortune
• Little drummer boy. Mattel’s American Girl has announced a new character: Nashville drummer Logan Everett. He is the first-ever boy doll in the brand’s 31-year history. Fortune
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