Iran Sanctions, AT&T-Time Warner, Zillow: CEO Daily for August 7, 2018

August 7, 2018, 9:45 AM UTC

Good morning.

When Indra Nooyi steps down in October as CEO of PepsiCo, she will leave just 24 women running Fortune 500 companies. “It concerns me that we can actually count how many there are, as opposed to saying there are hundreds,” she told Fortune’s Beth Kowitt in an interview yesterday. Nooyi said she doesn’t yet know what her next act will be, but one area she’s interested in is working “with other women to figure out how to get them to c-suite positions and as a mentor and supporter.” Nooyi talked about the struggles facing women aspiring to top executive jobs in an interview with Fortune last year.

During her time as CEO, Nooyi made a major shift in Pepsi’s product portfolio toward healthier foods—a move that was criticized by some investors early on, but turned out to foreshadow consumer trends. Asked by The Wall Street Journal to name her biggest achievement, she said: “We threaded the needle between performance and purpose and delivered terrific earnings-per-share performance growth.”

During her tenure, Nooyi delivered 8% annualized growth in total returns to shareholders, versus the 8.9% average for the S&P.

Nooyi will be replaced by Ramon Laguarta. You can learn more about him here.

More news below.

Top News

Iran and EU

The U.S.'s revived Iran sanctions are in force as of today, but European companies are under official instruction not to comply with the White House's demands that they cease doing business in the country. As in, if they do kow-tow to the U.S. demands without authorization from the European Commission, they're open to being sued by the EU member states. EU businesses will also be allowed to sue the U.S. administration in European courts, if they are affected by the sanctions. Guardian

AT&T-Time Warner

The Justice Department yesterday argued in a federal appeals court brief that a trial judge violated "fundamental principles of economics and common sense" when clearing AT&T's Time Warner merger. The transaction went through in June after the judge said the government hadn't proven the deal would raise prices and lower pay-TV competition, but the government is still fighting it. Wall Street Journal

Zillow Down

The online real estate service Zillow reported disappointing revenues yesterday, and also told investors that it intends to buy Mortgage Lenders of America in order to "streamline and shorten the home-buying process for consumers who purchase homes through Zillow Offers." Zillow's shares fell 16% in extended trading. CNBC

Google in China

China's authorities have (via state media, as usual) indicated that Google is welcome to re-enter the mainland Chinese market as long as it obeys the law. Recent reports have indicated that Google is preparing censor-friendly search and news aggregation apps for the market, as well as a cloud services business. The company left the market eight years ago due to its unwillingness—at the time—to bow to censorship demands. This was a "huge blunder which resulted in the company missing golden chances in the mainland’s internet development," read a People's Daily comment piece. South China Morning Post

Around the Water Cooler


Twitter has bucked the trend of major online platforms kicking off content from Alex Jones and his InfoWars conspiracy site. The service said Jones and InfoWars' profiles will remain active as they are "not currently in violation" of the platform's rules. Apple, Facebook and YouTube have all taken action against Jones and InfoWars, over content that they said breaks rules on hate speech. Fortune

Ola Expansion

India's Ola, a growing Uber competitor, is to expand into the U.K. The company is looking for a nationwide rollout, but while it seeks regulatory approval it intends to start in South Wales and Greater Manchester. Ola already has 125 million customers around the world, and operates in 110 cities. BBC

Commerzbank Results

Germany's Commerzbank has surprised analysts with Q2 profits of €272 million ($314 million). The lender took in €1.16 billion for the quarter and says it will start paying dividends again in the current fiscal year. CNBC

Mental Health

Aetna president Karen Lynch writes for Fortune that her company is responding to patients' desire for holistic health treatment, rather than just physical treatment. "There is no health care strategy without mental health. Nearly 68% of Aetna members who suffer from a mental health condition have a secondary medical diagnosis, underlining the importance of providing health care that treats the whole person," she writes. Fortune

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer. Find previous editions here, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters here.

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