Great ResignationDiversity and InclusionCompensationCEO DailyCFO DailyModern Board

Angela Ahrendts, OPEC and Russia, Tesla: CEO Daily for February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019, 10:01 AM UTC

Good morning.

I watched President Trump’s State of the Union address last night so you didn’t have to. Some excerpts related to the economy and business below.

– “In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom, a boom that has rarely been seen before. There has been nothing like it.”

“The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world. “

“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics and ridiculous partisan investigations.”

– “I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever. But they have to come in legally.”

“I have great respect for President Xi, and we are now working on a new trade deal with China. But it must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs.”

“I know that the Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill—and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future. This is not an option. This is a necessity.”

“It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place. This is wrong, unfair, and together we can stop it. And we will stop it fast.”

And then there was this pledge, the likes of which hasn’t been heard in the halls of Congress for half a century:

– “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

More news below.

Alan Murray

Top News

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts is leaving Apple after five years as retail chief, and will be replaced by HR head Dieirdre O'Brien, who will now be in charge of "retail and people." Ahrendts, who was Burberry's CEO for a dozen years, is leaving in April "for new personal and professional pursuits." A recent interview suggested she misses the fashion industry. Fortune

OPEC and Russia

OPEC officials say the cartel is proposing a radical transformation that would involve going into partnership with Russia and several other countries, including former Soviet republics. Iran is not keen on the idea; nor are other producers. MarketWatch

Tesla Pricing

Tesla has cut the price of its cheapest Model 3 variant by $1,100, meaning it now costs $42,900 before credits, or $34,850 if you take credits and fuel savings into account. The latest cut is apparently the result of Tesla axing its costly customer referral program. Reuters

SoftBank Buyback

SoftBank Group is buying back around $5.5 billion worth of stock, with the repurchase being funded by proceeds from the IPO of the group's telecommunications wing. Founder Masayoshi Son is trying to juice SoftBank's share price, which he reckons does not reflect the company's true value. The group's operating profits rose 60% last quarter. Bloomberg

Around the Water Cooler

Tech Monopolies

The U.K.'s opposition Labour Party would, if it came to power (a big if right now,) set up a new regulator for tackling Big Tech, possibly by breaking up the likes of Facebook. The plan would also involve a new Digital Bill of Rights. It's being spearheaded by deputy party leader Tom Watson, who, in his previous life as a pro-digital-rights backbencher, was at odds with the party leadership on such issues. Reuters

Facebook Bonuses

Facebook will link employee bonuses in part to "making progress on the major social issues," rather than just growth, it said. Those social issues include privacy and the spread of misinformation, as well as "building new experiences that… improve people's lives." What are the metrics for all this? That's not clear. Financial Times

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse expects to take a 2% hit from the new U.S. Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT,) which aims to stop companies from shifting tax abroad. The Swiss bank previously thought it would see an effective tax rate of 37% for 2018, but now it's revised that to 40%. CNBC

Corporate Lobbying

Want to learn about how companies lobby in Europe? It's largely by channelling influence through member states, as is explained in a new report by the transparency organization Corporate Europe Observatory, which isn't too keen on this behind-closed-doors influencing. Corporate Europe Observatory

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