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Asian Bears, Brexit Backup, Campbell Chief: CEO Daily for December 21, 2018

Good morning.

Eighty nine years ago, Henry Luce gave birth to Fortune, promising to provide readers a “clear, coherent, vivid” view of the drama and excitement of the industrial world — “to peer into dazzling furnaces,” travel to “the tip of the wing of the airplane and to the depths of the ocean along be-barnacled cables,” and “follow the chemist to worlds newer than the world Columbus found.”

Today–mark it in history’s calendar–we launch Fortune again. Our new owner, Chatchaval Jiaravanon, has challenged us to build Fortune into the world’s preeminent business media brand and is giving us the resources and runway to meet that daunting challenge. Moreover, he is doing so at a moment that echoes Luce’s early days. Technology has put us at the precipice of a new industrial revolution, driven by the rapidly exploding ability to collect digitized data from everyone and everything and spin it into useful, and increasingly awe-inspiring, intelligence. As a consequence, the coming decades promise a pace and scope of business change unparalleled in the past.

The new Fortune plans to place itself squarely at the center of that change. We will chronicle it, analyze it, benchmark its successes, spotlight its failures, and provide opportunities for business leaders to better understand and profit from it. Our goal is to be the indispensable guide to the new era, all over the globe.

We also will reaffirm our commitment to making business better, in every sense of that word. We will continue to encourage diversity in the workplace, in order to ensure society makes the best use of its most precious resource–people. We will spotlight business’s ability to address the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. And we will prod business leaders to take the long view, elevating innovation and future performance over short-term profit. At the end of the day, business must serve the needs of society, and only if it does so will society allow it to prosper.

So stay with us. We will be investing in our journalism, building up our communities, improving our technology, and expanding our geographic reach. And we’ll be looking to all of you to give us guidance and feedback; to criticize us when we go astray; and maybe even to give us a pat on the back when we get it right. If we do our job well, we will be at your side as you create the future.

More news below. This is the last CEO Daily until January 2. Enjoy the holiday. One final quote from our founder:

“Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight.”
-Henry R. Luce

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@meredith.com

Top News

Asian Bears

Japanese and Chinese stocks continued a widespread decline Friday after Japan’s central bank kept its interest rates unchanged Thursday and the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its rates Wednesday. CNBC.

Brexit Backup?

Is British Prime Minister Theresa May holding cards up her sleeve in the fierce Brexit negotiations with her own government? Unnamed sources inside her government say she is now considering options from calling a new general election to putting the decision to voters in another referendum. Bloomberg.

Campbell Clouse

Campbell’s Soup has hired former Pinnacle Foods CEO Mark Clouse as its new chief, following a difficult year and pressure from activist investment fund Third Point, which supported the choice of Clouse. Reuters.

Spooking Spooks

The U.S. Department of Justice unsealed indictments against two senior Chinese intelligence officers for hacking corporate networks in violation of a 2015 agreement with China to avoid commercial targets. BBC.

Around the Water Cooler

Mattis Moves

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned Thursday over differences with President Donald Trump’s security policy. One passage of his letter may have alluded to the recent unilateral decision to withdraw troops from Syria. Trump also ordered planning to begin for the withdrawal of half of the 14,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan. Bloomberg.

Droning On

Gatwick Airport remained shut for a second night due to the continued appearance of unidentified drones at its security fence but opened Friday morning for limited service. By then, local authorities had called in the army and airlines had diverted flights to airports across Northern Europe. BBC.

Ghosn Re-arrested

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn was re-arrested Friday on charges of breach of trust, after a judge on Thursday refused to extend his jailing over income mis-reporting charges. New York Times.

WhatsApp Cryptocurrency

Facebook is building a cryptocurrency to enable payments through its WhatsApp application. Bloomberg.

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