Accenture yesterday named Julie Sweet as the new CEO of the global consulting giant—replacing Pierre Nanterme, who died in January.
Sweet is near the epicenter of the two trends that CEO Daily follows most closely: the digital transformation of business, and the changing nature of corporate leadership.
On the first, as head of Accenture’s U.S. business, Sweet has been part of a decade-long effort to remake Accenture into the leading adviser for companies seeking to harness the power of today’s technologies to revamp their businesses. That description, of course, now applies to almost every big company. And Accenture now serves 92 of the Fortune 100, and more than two-thirds of the Fortune 500. In the last five years, its market cap has soared from $50 billion to $130 billion.
On the second, Sweet has been one of the leaders of efforts, including The Fortune CEO Initiative, to maximize the positive impact of business on society. “We think of ourselves as having an obligation to lead in the communities where we work and live,” Sweet told me earlier this week. In particular, she has been active in efforts to create new training, apprenticeship, and skills programs for workers in danger of being left behind by technological change. She also has been a champion for diversity.
You can read more about Sweet here. And speaking of technological change, I’m heading to Aspen this weekend for Fortune Brainstorm Tech, which starts Monday. Among the CEOs attending: Doug McMillon of Walmart, Margo Georgiadis of Ancestry, Jeffrey Katzenberg of WndrCo, Ynon Kreiz of Mattel, Meg Whitman of Quibi, Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix, Bob Swan of Intel, Sara Menker of Gro Intelligence, Stewart Butterfield of Slack, Beth Ford of Land O’Lakes, and Steve Mollenkopf of Qualcomm. I’ll be interviewing Jennifer Tejada of PagerDuty and Sasan Goodarzi of Intuit, and reporting on the conference here.
Boeing’s 737 Head Retires
The head of the company’s 737 program is retiring, as the scandal over safety faults in the model drag on. Eric Lindblad has been at the company for 34 years, taking over the 737 Max program last year. He was also head of the program during the period where two crashes, which led to the death of 346 people, prompted ongoing groundings. That’s another sign of hard times at Boeing—earlier this week, reports said Airbus is on track to replace it as the world’s top plane maker. Financial Times
India Trade Talks To Restart
U.S. trade talks with India will restart on Friday—after talks were cut short over disagreements including tariffs and revoking trade preferences for India. But there was already tension in the lead-up, with President Trump tweeting that Indian import tariffs on the U.S. were “no longer acceptable!” India had imposed tariffs on nearly 30 products as retaliation after the Trump administration announced the U.S. would end trade exemptions for India on June 1. Bloomberg
Google Is Listening
Google confirmed that contractors are listening to audio recorded by customers’ virtual assistants, but noted that the company listens to only a small sample—0.2% of all audio samples, to be precise. The company said contractors were listening in order to improve the assistant’s understanding of language and dialects. Wall Street Journal
The Case For a People’s Legislature
In an editorial for Fortune, former U.S. senator and current Democratic candidate for president Mike Gravel makes the case for a fourth branch of government, a ‘people’s legislature’, directly funded by a land value tax. Fortune
AROUND THE WATER COOLER
Can a Poker Bot Also Win at Business Strategy?
Fortune’s Jeremy Kahn has this take on a new jump in A.I.—a bot, named Pluribus, who can beat human card sharks at poker. Bots playing games is not a new phenomenon: think A.I. chess and Go matches. But poker is a different beast, relying more on luck and a knack for human psychology—more like business strategy, in other words. “Most real-world strategic interactions involve hidden information or multiple opponents or both,” says one of the researchers. Fortune
In China, American Businesspeople Are Getting Nervous
U.S. business executives and government officials are expressing “increasing alarm” about entering and leaving China, after a Chinese-American executive at Koch Industries was told he could not leave his hotel for several days in early June. That has stoked worries that executives could be caught in the middle of trade tensions between the U.S. and China, especially U.S. executives who were born in China. New York Times
Amazon’s New Workforce
Automation and machine learning are going to transform Amazon’s workforce—so the company said it would retrain a third of its employees for new jobs. The cost would break down to about $7,000 per employee, and include training for jobs like IT support roles and software engineers, and is part of a plan to invest in getting technical talent, rather than laying off workers and looking for new ones. Wall Street Journal
New Workers of the World
This feature from Businessweek—on what it means to be a working person right now—is worth a read. It profiles working-class people from around the world, particularly millennials, in jobs that didn’t quite exist a generation ago: computer resellers, social-media influencers, and warehouse pickers, from Germany to Japan to Ghana. Bloomberg Businessweek