Apple and Qualcomm, T-Mobile and Sprint, Gou’s Goddess: CEO Daily for April 17, 2019
I spent the last two days in the South Bronx—just a few miles but a world away from my usual perch in lower Manhattan—as a guest of Jim Ziolkowski, founder and CEO of buildOn. BuildOn is a nonprofit that runs youth service learning projects in tough urban high schools and constructs schools in developing countries. My guide for the two days was a high school senior named Michael, who moved from the Dominican Republic two years ago with no English-speaking skills, has struggled with a bout of homelessness since then, but has somehow emerged as one of buildOn’s bright leaders. We did two days of service together, entertaining children in an after-school program and serving free meals in Morrisania.
What makes buildOn—and Michael—of interest to me, and to the business world, is how they demonstrate the tight link between service and leadership. By showing young people the contributions they can make to their communities, the program empowers them. The first indication of that efficacy is an 18-day increase in their school attendance. But Michael showed that the benefits go far beyond that, building confident leaders out of the most challenged raw material.
It’s that piece that has attracted companies like Salesforce, McKinsey, Pitney Bowes and Synchrony Financial to engage with the organization. With me this week were Synchrony CEO Margaret Keane and Ogilvy CEO John Seifert. It’s not just an opportunity for them to “give back.” It’s an anvil for forging a new level of empathy, leading to what Ziolkowski calls “constructive leadership.”
Here are some words Michael left with me:
“Jobs can come and go. Physical beauty fades. Relationships can end. Markets rise and fall. But the benefits of service last a lifetime.”
Not bad for a kid who couldn’t speak English two years ago. News below.
The seemingly interminable patent war between Apple and Qualcomm is finally over, thanks to a settlement that sees the former pay the latter an undisclosed amount. The two have a new six-year license agreement and Qualcomm will supply Apple’s 5G modem chips. The chipmaker says its annual earnings per share will rise around $2 thanks to the deal. Analysts say this is all a huge win for Qualcomm, as the dispute posed an existential threat to its licensing business. Qualcomm’s shares soared 23% after the news broke. And Intel, which would otherwise have been Apple’s 5G modem chip supplier, has now decided to ax that side of its business. Fortune
T-Mobile and Sprint
T-Mobile’s Sprint takeover is reportedly in doubt due to skepticism from antitrust authorities. The news was first carried by the Wall Street Journal, whose article was subject to ferocious pushback from T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint chair Marcelo Claure. But the Financial Times also reports there have been problems. The Journal‘s piece led to a 4% stock drop for T-Mobile and an 8% drop for Sprint. FT
Foxconn chair Terry Gou has formally announced his bid for Taiwan’s presidency and also announced why he’s running: the sea goddess Mazu asked him to do so. “Mazu said to me, ‘you should… do good things for our suffering people, give hope to the youth, contribute to cross-strait peace,'” Taiwan’s richest person told an audience at the goddess’s temple in New Taipei City. CNBC
Microsoft turned down a request from a Californian law enforcement agency to install its facial recognition technology in cop cars and body cameras, because of racial bias in its A.I. software—the system is mostly trained on white and male faces, so installation in this context would lead to too many innocent women and minorities being held for questioning. Reuters
Around the Water Cooler
Some people really don’t like the idea of China being able to unilaterally enforce terms of the maybe-upcoming U.S.-China trade deal against American companies. This ability (which the U.S. would also have) appears to be part of the deal, though details are scarce. Per Bloomberg: “Lobbyists…complain they’re not being consulted by the administration and fret that once a deal is announced American companies will be forced to accept it as a fait accompli.” Bloomberg
What does Brexit have to do with a country on the other side of the world, such as South Africa? It’s all about the auto industry—South Africa exports cars to the EU and to the U.K., and the EU applies more tariffs to incoming cars that use fewer European components. If the U.K. leaves the EU in a disorderly fashion, cars built in South Africa with British parts and exported to Europe will therefore attract more duties, making the South African car industry less competitive. Trade is complicated, isn’t it? Daily Maverick
Facebook has made a rather perverse decision that could see it further enrage lawmakers in the EU. As part of its attempt to crack down on foreign election interference, Facebook won’t allow cross-border ad campaigns for the upcoming European elections—which are by definition cross-border elections. The European Commission and Parliament and the Council of the EU have all complained, but to no avail. Politico
Sony is finally talking about the next generation of its PlayStation console, which will be faster and sound better, and won’t show up this year. It will also offer backwards-compatibility for PlayStation 4 games and feature a disc drive, which is starting to seem like a quite old-fashioned feature during the dawn of the streaming age—though remember that not everyone has a great Internet connection. Fortune