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Cain Fed, Bezos Split, Brexit Extension: CEO Daily for April 5, 2019

Good morning

Among the young entrepreneurs at this week’s Fortune Brainstorm Health was Diesel Peltz, who has started a company called Twenty—as in “What’s Your Twenty?” It is an anti-tech tech platform. The Twenty app discourages the kind of virtual sharing that characterizes most social networks, and instead facilitates meetings in person. It puts the social back into social network.

Peltz provided a reminder of why we do these events. As journalists, we at Fortune believe in the power of the written word. And in our journalism, we chronicle the power of digital technology. But there is something that happens in physical, face-to-face encounters that trumps it all. Connections get made. Ideas take root. The abstract becomes real. Our goal at each event is not only to present compelling stories on stage, but to create a community off stage, and to enable the kind of serendipitous interactions that can spark business success.

We’ve got a diverse lineup of gatherings this year, and I encourage CEO Daily readers who are able to find one that works for them. You can learn more and request an invitation here. Or send me an email.

Most Powerful Women International, London, June 3-4

Fortune CEO Initiative, New York, June 10-11

Brainstorm Finance, Montauk, June 19-20

Brainstorm Tech, Aspen, July 15-17

Fortune Global Sustainability Forum, Yunnan, China, September 5-6

Most Powerful Women International, Toronto, September 16-17

Brainstorm AI, Boston, September 23-24

Most Powerful Women Summit, Washington, D.C., October 21-23

Fortune Global Technology Forum, Guangzhou, China, TBD

Fortune Global Forum, Paris, November 18-19

MPW Next Gen Summit, Laguna Niguel, California, December 10-11

More news below. And check out Jamie Dimon’s thoughts on public policy—particularly the need for overhauling education and training—in his annual shareholder’s letter here. He may not be running for president, but he is sounding like someone who ought to.

Alan Murray

Top News

Cain Fed

President Trump is recommending former pizza executive and GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain for the Federal Reserve Board. Trump has been criticizing the Fed for ages. He’s already appointed four people to its seven-strong board, and there are currently two more vacancies. Wall Street Journal

Bezos Split

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos have finalized their divorce. MacKenzie keeps a 4% stake in Amazon, worth around $36 billion, but the company’s CEO gets her voting rights, along with the other three-quarters of the stock they jointly held. She has also granted him all of her interests in the Washington Post and in his space company, Blue Origin. Bloomberg

Brexit Extension

British Prime Minister Theresa May has made another request to the other 27 EU countries for an extension of the Brexit deadline to June 30. She proposed that the U.K. tentatively prepare candidates and polling stations for the May 23 European Parliament elections. If the U.K.’s own parliament agrees on a Brexit deal before that date, it will cancel its participation in those elections; if not, and for some reason there’s a further extension request, the EU doesn’t run the risk of its parliament being illegitimate because the U.K. is still a member state but without European Parliament representation. However, the EU may want a longer (cover your eyes, language lovers) “flextension,” so it doesn’t have to keep dealing with requests for short extensions. Buzzfeed

China Talks

It feels like we’ve heard this before, many times, but here’s President Trump on the U.S.-China trade talks: “This is an epic deal, historic, if it happens… This is the Grand Daddy of them all and we’ll see if it happens. It’s got a very good chance of happening.” Apparently “a lot of the most difficult points” have been worked out, but not all of them, so don’t expect anything concrete this month. BBC.

Around the Water Cooler


Google’s A.I. ethics board has bitten the dust just one week after its formation. It was a chaotic few days, with thousands of Googlers and others decrying its inclusion of drone company chief Dyen Gibbens and Kay Coles James, head of the right-wing Heritage Foundation. One of the key A.I. ethics problems is to do with algorithmic bias, and James is an opponent of LGBTQ rights, so people thought she was a pretty terrible fit for the role. One board member resigned and others squirmed, and eventually Google pulled the plug. Financial Times


A second airport has rejected Chick-fil-A’s concession application, apparently due to the anti-LGBTQ views of the fast-food chain’s owners. “The views of Chick-fil-A do not represent our state or the Western New York community, and businesses that support discrimination have no place operating in taxpayer-funded public facilities,” said Buffalo Democratic Assemblyman Sean Ryan, welcoming the decision by Buffalo Niagara International Airport. NBC News

Chinese Emigrants

Wealthy Chinese emigrants are for some reason no longer so keen on moving to the U.S. Instead, they’re reportedly considering a move to Europe, where countries such as Greece and Spain are eagerly trying to attract people who can invest there. South China Morning Post

Eurozone Troubles

Geoffrey Smith has written a great Fortune explainer about the eurozone’s vulnerability to external factors such as Brexit and the U.S.-China trade war: “That the eurozone is so vulnerable to these outside forces is largely due to the wrenching structural change that Germany and its mainly northern European allies forced on the monetary union during its last crisis.” Fortune

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