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Madewell CEO, YouTube Toxic Videos, UNC Basketball: Broadsheet April 3

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Susan Wojcicki and other executives are accused of letting toxic videos flourish at YouTube, Chicago elects its first black female mayor, and Madewell gets its first CEO. Have a wonderful Wednesday.


• Well and good. Emma has news that’s exclusive to Fortune this morning: J.Crew’s Madewell brand has appointed its first-ever CEO, promoting brand president Libby Wadle to the role. The move follows a year in which the denim specialist pulled in over $500 million in revenue; it’s now aiming for the $1 billion mark.

“It’s a pivotal point for us in terms of growth,” Wadle says.

Wadle’s appointment marks the second time in about a month that a female CEO has been tapped to lead a U.S. apparel chain. Recall that Sonia Syngal is set to become the new CEO of low-price retailer Old Navy; when she does, she’s likely to join the all-too-small club of female Fortune 500 CEOs.

The parallels between Madewell and Old Navy don’t stop there. They’re both the wildly successful arms of larger clothing companies whose flagship brands are struggling, J.Crew and Gap Inc., respectively. Gap made the decision in late February to spin off Old Navy. Will J.Crew do the same with Madewell?

“We’re part of the group, we’re part of the whole. The business is becoming bigger,” is how Wadle addressed that matter.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that both Madewell and Old Navy are doing something right in an unforgiving retail market. What’s their secret? For Madewell, at least, it’s simple: a narrow focus.

“Around five years ago, we really put a stake in the ground around our value preposition, which is offering premium quality jeans at a non-premium price,” Wadle says. “It was a real white space in the market.” Fortune

Claire Zillman


• Madam Mayor. Chicago made history last night by electing Lori Lightfoot as mayor. She’s the first black female mayor of the city—a result that was guaranteed since the two candidates in the runoff election were both black women. She’s also Chicago’s first openly gay leader. She managed to ride an anti-establishment wave to victory, and her resounding defeat of opponent Toni Preckwinkle is considered a stinging blow to Chicago’s powerful political machine. “Today, you did more than make history,” Lightfoot told hundreds of supporters. “You created a movement for change.” Chicago Tribune

Like and subscribe? This investigation reveals how YouTube, under the leadership of CEO Susan Wojcicki, ignored warnings and let toxic content—from alt-right to anti-vaxxer videos—run rampant on its platform. Employees inside the company tried to sound the alarm on just how dangerous these videos—and YouTube’s recommendations of them—were, but faced executive pushback. Bloomberg

Scott at Fox. Suzanne Scott became CEO of Fox News almost a year ago, but she’s stayed out of the spotlight. In her first lengthy interview, Scott says that she’s different from her former boss Roger Ailes—but still committed to the traditional Fox News. “We became No. 1 under President Bush. We stayed No. 1 under President Obama. We are still No. 1. My focus is on business,” she says. Variety

Meet the Gillistans. You know the Bernie Bros. But have you heard about the Gillistans? Refinery29 spends some time with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s most hardcore supporters—who haven’t seen the same media spotlight as some other 2020 candidates’ fans. Refinery29

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Linda Findley Kozlowski takes over as president and CEO of Blue Apron. Lisa Bougie and Andrea Freedman join the board of Cora. Carine Roitfeld will be style advisor at Karl Lagerfeld’s namesake brand. Nextdoor hired Tatyana Mamut as head of product. Caroline Le Roch is the new president of Americas for Godiva Chocolatier. Former BuzzFeed UK EIC Janine Gibson joins the Financial Times as special projects editor. Wieden + Kennedy co-president Colleen DeCourcy joins the board of The Wing.


Children’s books gone wrong. The mayor of Baltimore, Cathrine Pugh, is on (unrelated) leave amid a controversy over sales of children’s books she wrote. The University of Maryland Medical System paid $500,000 for Pugh’s self-published Healthy Holly books while she served on its board. Health provider Kaiser Permanente paid $100,000 for the books while it was seeking a contract with the city; another deal involved Associated Black Charities. The sales, which started when Pugh was a Maryland state senator, are being investigated by a state prosecutor. Baltimore Sun

Allegations and the cover-up. Executives at Wynn Resorts tried to cover up the sexual misconduct allegations against founder Steve Wynn, Massachusetts regulators said after investigating the chain before it’s allowed to open outside Boston. And in more #MeToo news, magician David Blaine is under NYPD investigation for sexual assault.

UNC-lear. The University of North Carolina women’s basketball program is being investigated after student-athletes raised concerns about its culture. Coach Sylvia Hatchell and her three assistants are on administrative leave, with few other details available so far.  Washington Post

Elvie’s income. As women’s health startups continue to grow and compete, Elvie just got an advantage. The startup led by Tania Boler, which started with a “Kegel trainer” but now sells a breast pump and other products, raked in $42 million in funding. Women’s health startup Cora also raised $7.5 million, announced the same day. TechCrunch

Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma HinchliffeShare it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


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All the men were holding grudges. We were women, and we were going to hold a grudge, too.
Bette Midler on her production company's 'we hold a grudge' motto