Paul Allen, Google Censorship, Bezos on Military: CEO Daily for October 16, 2018

October 16, 2018, 9:38 AM UTC

Good morning.

The Fortune Global Forum got underway in Toronto yesterday, kicked off by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I can’t do the event full justice in 300 words, particularly with a head fogged by Canadian wine and a stomach full of Canadian moose. But here are some excerpts:

—“We’re the only G7 country with a free trade deal with every other G7 country. This is Canada’s moment to lead, and we’re making it easy for you to lead with us.” — Prime Minister Trudeau

—“As a CEO you have to start with a real purpose. You need a North Star. You have to define your role in the world and in the community.” —RBC CEO David McKay

—“It’s incumbent upon businesses to make sure we are taking an active role in creating opportunity for everyone…Increasingly, businesses are going to have to get involved in things where you can’t draw a straight line to the business.” — Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

—“Mission is a big deal in innovation. You have to ask: What problem do you want to solve? How do you want to change the world?” —Ampere Computing CEO Renee James

—“We have got to reinvent ourselves every day. Our 132-year history is a source of pride, but we can’t let it become an anchor.” —Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky.

More from the Forum here, and other news below.

Top News

Paul Allen

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has died at the age of 65, two weeks after announcing the return of his cancer. He had been in remission for years. Allen and Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975, and Allen left in the early 1980s after his first cancer diagnosis. He went on to devote much of his time and money to Seattle, but also to the wider world, for example working to fight elephant poaching. New York Times

Google Censorship

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has finally opened up about Project Dragonfly, the company's censor-friendly search app that it's developed for the Chinese market. He claimed, contrary to what recent leaks suggest, that the project's development was purely for internal purposes, to see what a censored Chinese Google Search would look like. "It turns out we'll be able to serve well over 99% of the queries," he enthused. Fortune

Bezos on Military

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has no qualms about working with the military. His company is bidding for the DoD's "Jedi" cloud infrastructure project (Google isn't) and Bezos says that's alright. "If big tech companies are going to turn their back on the U.S. Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble," he said. "This is a great country—it needs to be defended." BBC

Facebook on Elections

Facebook says it will rid its platform of false information about voting requirements and provide fact-checking for reports of violence and long queues at the upcoming midterms. There are not many areas where Facebook prohibits false information—a slippery slope, it fears—but these moves should help to counter voter suppression tactics. Reuters

Around the Water Cooler

Trump Effect

Former NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said America's withdrawal from world affairs has led to chaos. "The world needs leadership and only Americans can provide that leadership," the former Danish prime minister told CNBC, citing the U.S.'s "material and moral greatness." CNBC

Rolls Royce

If any of you were hoping for a hybrid Rolls-Royce, terribly sorry, it's not happening. CEO Torsten Müller-Otvös: "There is an electric future for Rolls-Royce. We have not made our plan about what comes first, and what comes when, but we know that we will go full electric. We will not do hybrids or whatever. Our proposition is full electric. It will come in the next decade, step by step by step." Bloomberg

German Cars

The German car industry has a 50:50 chance of maintaining its leading position in a decade's time, according to VW chief Herbert Diess. Why? Everything from stringent emissions standards to trade wars, Brexit, and Russian and Turkish geopolitics. The electrification of cars will be critical, Diess said. Reuters

Nike Controversy

That Kaepernick campaign controversy is still going. USA Gymnastics' new interim president and CEO, Mary Bono, has apologized after people picked up on a tweet she emitted shortly after Nike started using knee-taking NFL star Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign. The now-deleted tweet showed a crossed-out Nike logo on a pair of golf cleats. "I regret the post and respect everyone's views and fundamental right to express them," Bono said. Fox Business

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

Read More

Great ResignationDiversity and InclusionCompensationCEO DailyCFO DailyModern Board