HP CEO Dion Weisler, Trump’s China Tariffs, Google Diversity: CEO Daily for June 15, 2018
Good Friday morning.
Several of you asked about the program at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute I attended earlier this week. Hard to capture the experience in 300 words, but the fundamental insight it is built upon is this: Most executives are skilled in managing their time, but the bigger challenge they face is managing energy—physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. And managing energy requires understanding the patterns of stress and recovery that build strength and endurance. I can’t say I’ve mastered the new skills after just three days, but I’ve certainly made progress. One lesson that hangs over it all: have a clear sense of purpose and mission; that helps the other pieces fall into place.
Meanwhile, take some time today to watch Susie Gharib’s interview with HP CEO Dion Weisler. He talks about his decision not only to make gender and racial diversity a priority at his company, but to require his suppliers to do the same—or else lose HP’s business.
“If you want to make a difference, be prepared to make the tough call. And so we did that,” Weisler says. “That’s the power of being in the leadership position. That you can influence an ecosystem. That you can step up and lead as a leader across an organization larger than your own to make a difference in the things you really believe in.”
Weisler says it’s the right move, and also important to his employees. “They want to work for a company that cares about making a difference in the communities where we serve,” he says, “and so for us, it’s a business imperative.”
More news below.
Trade War Salvo
President Donald Trump today is expected to officially impose tariffs on about $50 billion in imports from China, inching the world’s two largest economies closer to an all-out trade war. The administration is due to release a new list of Chinese products it will target with a 25% tariff. The initial list of 1,300 items released earlier this year ranged from flat screen TVs to pharmaceuticals. The updated version is expected to focus on Chinese exports with ties to Beijing’s plan to lead the world in 10 key sectors such as robotics. Financial Times
War Against Walgreens
Kentucky’s attorney general yesterday announced the state is suing Walgreens, accusing the pharmacy chain of exacerbating the “man-made” opioid crisis through its dual role as drug distributor and dispenser. The lawsuit says parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance fulfilled orders “for such large quantities of prescription narcotic pain medication that there could be no associated legitimate medical purpose for their use.” Walgreens declined comment to NPR, citing pending litigation. NPR
Barley Nudging the Needle
Alphabet’s Google released its fifth annual diversity report yesterday, revealing that is has barely raised the number of women and underrepresented minorities in its ranks. Google published the numbers a week after shareholders rejected proposals to consider linking executive compensation to diversity metrics, and as it faces lawsuits over gender discrimination. Wall Street Journal
One Fewer Friend at Facebook
Around the Water Cooler
2 out of 500
GM this week named Dhivya Suryadevara, 39, as its next CFO. When she takes over the role from Chuck Stevens in September, GM will enter rare Fortune 500 territory as one of only two companies with a female CFO and a female CEO. Fortune
Passing on a Test
The University of Chicago sent a jolt through the world of prestigious universities yesterday by announcing that it will no longer require U.S. applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores. The school’s dean of admissions and financial aid said he doesn’t want “one little test score” to end up “scaring students off” who are otherwise qualified. Other colleges have abandoned standardized test requirements in recent years, but U-Chicago is the first top-10 research university to jump on the test-optional wagon. Washington Post
Brexit who? Despite the U.K.’s impending divorce from the European Union, commercial real estate in London continues to garner hefty price tags. In the latest mega-deal, UBS’s London headquarters was sold to the property company founded by the Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing for £1 billion. It follows two other £1 billion transactions—for the “Walkie-Talkie” and “Cheesegrater” skyscrapers—last year. Those two buildings were snapped up by Chinese buyers. Financial Times
A ‘Cool’ Dad
Happy Father’s Day (this Sunday) to all the dads out there! If you’re looking for a kick-back read this weekend, consider this feature on how ‘dad style’—think baggy blazers, ugly sneakers, light-washed jeans—became fashion’s hottest trend as the hip crowd adopted what’s being called the ‘retired millennial’ look. New York Times