Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Helena Foulkes puts Lord & Taylor up for sale, the Royal Baby arrives, and Riot Games employees stage a walkout over forced arbitration. Have a terrific Tuesday.
• Not fun and games. Yesterday, more than 150 workers at Riot Games walked out of the gaming company’s L.A. office. The protest centered around the company’s policy on forced arbitration, and comes after a Kotaku investigation that revealed an alleged culture of endemic sexism at Riot and a legal challenge from a number of current and former employees who say, among other things, that the company discriminated against them, violating California’s Equal Pay Act.
Kotaku reports that Riot last week filed a motion to force two of those would-be litigants into arbitration, since they’d signed paperwork agreeing to the closed-door process upon joining the company. Not surprisingly, the move upset some employees. Soon after, Riot said it would give incoming employees the ability to opt out of forced arbitration for harassment suits and that it would consider extending that option to current employees “as soon as current litigation is resolved.”
It’s the latest in a pair of Silicon Valley trends—or at least, one trend and one mini-trend. There is clearly a move away from requiring employees to agree to forced arbitration for #MeToo-related claims. Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Google have all recently changed their policies to allow workers to sue over—and therefore make public—allegations of harassment. At Google, that change came in the wake of last year’s massive employee walkout—and now Riot joins the search giant as a place where employees are using public protests to make known their dissatisfaction with their companies’ treatment of harassment and related issues.
Will more tech industry workers follow in their footsteps and take to the street to demand transparency? I don’t know—but I do know there’s something poetic about workers raising their voices and taking such a public stand against policies that have long been used to keep charges of sexism, abuse, and discrimination quiet and out of sight. Kotaku
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Later, Lord & Taylor. Hudson’s Bay Company is likely putting Lord & Taylor up for sale, part of CEO Helena Foulkes’s strategy to reposition the retail company that also owns Saks Fifth Avenue and its namesake Canadian chain for the long term. CNBC
• The year after. What happens after coming forward with your story? Tanya Selvaratnam, the writer and producer who revealed the violence she allegedly experienced in her relationship with former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, shares what the past year has been like for her. She prepared for the allegations to go public by moving out of her apartment, putting an auto-responder up on her email, and then moving abroad. Washington Post
• What’s after Bridgewater? The WSJ is reporting that Eileen Murray, co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates—the world’s largest hedge fund—has held numerous conversations inside and outside the firm about leaving. Among the jobs she’s apparently explored: CEO of Wells Fargo and an unspecified position at MetLife. The story also includes fascinating details about Murray’s life and the critical role she plays within Bridgewater. Wall Street Journal
• It’s a boy! The Royal Baby is here! Meghan Markle gave birth to a son with husband Prince Harry early Monday. We don’t yet know the name of the baby, who is seventh in line to the throne and the first mixed-race member of the Royal Family in the history of the modern monarchy. In honor of the occasion, Phil Boucher writes for Fortune about the royals’ history with maternity leaves: Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Emma reports that Cindy Robbins, president and chief people officer at Salesforce, is leaving the company to “take a pause to advise organizations, advocate for gender equality and spend time with my family.” Robbins, along with Saleforce’s Leyla Seka, famously convinced CEO Marc Benioff to spend a total of $10.3 million to address the company’s gender pay gap. CBS News, under Susan Zirinsky, finalized its anchor switch-ups, confirming that Norah O’Donnell will become the anchor of CBS Evening News, keeping Gayle King at the center of CBS This Morning; O’Donnell will be the third woman, following Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer, to be a weekday solo anchor of an evening network newscast. Sharon Tal Yguado left her role as head of genre programming at Amazon Studios. E! canceled Busy Philipps’s talk show Busy Tonight.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• The new Vice. Under CEO Nancy Dubuc, Vice Media is continuing to reposition itself. The company raised $250 million in debt financing and consolidated its verticals. Wall Street Journal
• Battling debt and addiction. One Sen. Elizabeth Warren policy proposal that flew slightly under the radar: her plan to restructure debt for Puerto Rico. The proposal gives Puerto Rico the same ability to lower its debt as a U.S. city or company. Fellow presidential contender Sen. Amy Klobuchar came out with a $100 billion proposal to combat drug and alcohol addiction; she spoke about watching her father’s battle with alcoholism at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.
• South/east Asia news. Malaysia appointed its first female chief justice last week: Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat. And in India, Mamata Banerjee is the politician leading the opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As West Bengal chief minister, Banjeree and her party control a significant number of seats in Parliament; her current campaign has centered on criticism of Modi, including India’s 2016 cash ban.
• XOXO, gossip boys. While women gossip more than men, that’s only true of neutral gossip, explained by the fact that women talk about social topics more than men. When it comes to negative gossip—the malicious stuff—women and men gossip equally, a new study found. Bustle
ON MY RADAR
Celine Dion, at the Met Gala, is no one’s paper doll New York Times
Sallie Krawcheck: Just buy the f***ing latte Fast Company
Maggie Siff and the women of Wall Street The New Yorker
Men invented ‘likability.’ Guess who benefits New York Times