Market Volatility, Apple Suit, Roundup Verdict: CEO Daily for May 14, 2019
That’s one of the questions that we asked on this year’s CEO poll, and got a flood of answers. But two names stood out:
J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon was the choice of 24% of the CEOs responding.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was the choice of 17% of those responding.
No one else came close, although Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Walmart’s Doug McMillon each got 7% of the vote.
Others with more than one mention: Disney’s Bob Iger, AGCO’s Martin Richenhagen, and Marriott’s Arne Sorenson. The one female CEO to get a mention: Occidental’s Vicki Hollub, who beat out Chevron in the battle over Anadarko.
And here’s a bonus question: If CEOs have the time to watch television, what’s the one show they watch? A lot of sports and business answers here. But when it comes to entertainment, CEOs apparently watch the same thing as the rest of us: Game of Thrones. Some 17% of the CEOs named the show as their one TV pleasure. Lessons in leadership, I guess.
More news below.
The Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite indexes fell by 1.4% and 0.7% respectively today, following yesterday's 2.4% drops in the Dow and S&P 500. However, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6% in early trading, due to displays of optimism about the future of U.S.-China trade talks from President Trump and a Chinese diplomat. At the time of writing, there was green on the horizon for the U.S. markets too. Bloomberg
One of Monday's biggest losers was Apple, whose share price fell by almost 6%. That's not entirely to do with China—it's also because the Supreme Court ruled consumers can sue Apple for antitrust violations, on the basis that the App Store constitutes a monopoly. Apple claims it is only an intermediary. This ruling doesn't just affect Apple; it's ruffling nerves among many other tech companies with walled-off virtual storefronts. CNN
Bayer has been hit with a third jury decision that its Roundup weedkiller led to cancer. A California jury awarded a couple with cancer $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages. The German giant, which still faces another 13,400 lawsuits over Roundup's safety, continues to point to regulatory approval for the Monsanto product as evidence that the verdicts are incorrect. Bayer's shares dropped 2.7% on the news. Wall Street Journal
The former chief financial officer of the British software firm Autonomy has been fined $4 million and sentenced to five years imprisonment in the U.S., for fraudulently inflating the company's value ahead of its sale to Hewlett-Packard. Sushovan Hussain also had to forfeit $6.1 million. Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch still faces criminal charges over the affair, as does former finance VP Stephen Chamberlain—both claim innocence. Guardian
Around the Water Cooler
Wall Street is asking questions about Uber's 18% stock price fall in the two days since its IPO—the primary question being, did Morgan Stanley mess up here? The bank said Uber was worth $120 billion, and some say it set the flotation price too aggressively. IPO specialist Jay Ritter: "In retrospect, the underwriters should have done a better job at figuring how strong the true demand was." Bloomberg
Vodafone has knocked two-fifths off its dividend—the British telecoms giant's first dividend cut since 1990. New CEO Nick Read had said Vodafone would maintain its dividend, but a bunch of challenges appeared, ranging from tough market conditions in Italy and South Africa to highly expensive spectrum auctions in Italy (again) and Germany. Financial Times
The founder of the British hi-fi and TV retailer Richer Sounds is handing control of the chain to its employees, along with big cash bonuses. Julian Richer is converting 60% of his shares into a trust—he gets £9.2 million ($11.9 million) for the stake, but will hand back £3.5 million to staffers, who will get £1,000 for each year of their employment with the firm. Some workers have been with the company for over two decades. Employee ownership is a growing trend in the U.K. Guardian
Green New Deal
How viable are the Green New Deal's energy proposals? Look to Europe, where countries have tried transitioning to clean energy and retrofitting housing stock to be more energy-efficient. The lessons from Germany and the Netherlands suggest these moves are entirely do-able—but the timescale proposed by the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may not work out in practice. Fortune