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The ‘Superpower’ Behind Quibi, Meg Whitman’s New Company: The Broadsheet

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Dr. Leana Wen was forced out as president of Planned Parenthood, Emmy nominations are stacked with talent, and we hear from CEOs at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech. Have a wonderful Wednesday! 


– Talking Tech. Aspen has been awash in fleece vests and All Birds this week, thanks in large part to Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference, which rolls into its final day this morning.

For those of us stuck at sea level, a quick recap of some of the highlights thus far:

Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake talked about the ways her company is using “small data”—i.e. detailed feedback from individual shoppers—to predict the exact item a certain consumer will love. One such example? The company has figured out “the perfect jumpsuit for people over 50,” says Lake, who still occasionally acts as a stylist for some lucky customers. That’s not the usual retail business model, but Wall Street is finally starting to “get” what the company does, says the CEO—shares have risen 64% in 2019 so far.

Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford, meanwhile, was focused on big data and its potential to help protect farmers from the potentially disastrous effects of volatile weather. Ford’s fellow panelist, Gro Intelligence founder Sara Menker, noted that farmers aren’t the only ones impacted—everyone from companies to banks to even commodity traders needs such data to better prepare for the inevitable “extreme shifts” created by climate change.

Margo Georgiadis, president and CEO of Ancestry, tackled questions about privacy and the responsibilities of companies like hers, which store people’s DNA profiles. She told Brainstorm Tech attendees that her company does not cooperate with law enforcement unless compelled by a court order—last year, she said, Ancestry had ten requests from law enforcement, all related to credit card fraud rather than genetics.

And finally, Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, HP, and HPE, appeared on stage with Jeffrey Katzenberg to discuss the pair’s new Quibi (short for ‘quick bites’) video streaming service. They defended Quibi’s place in the crowded video streaming market, arguing that it will feature a new kind of storytelling—via chapters that are seven to ten minutes long—that’s designed specifically for on-the-go mobile viewing. Whitman also touched on the dynamic she shares with Katzenberg, a former Disney and DreamWorks executive, characterizing the relationship as odd-couple-esque. “We see almost everything differently….Our superpower is we are completely different.”

To catch all the action on the third and final day in Aspen, tune in to our livesteam starting at 9:15 am Mountain Time.

Kristen Bellstrom



– Not going as planned. Dr. Leana Wen was forced out as president of Planned Parenthood after eight months in the top job. Wen, the first doctor at the helm in 50 years, favored positioning the organization as a health care provider, while the organization’s board wanted to emphasize the group’s political work fighting for abortion rights, especially as states passed anti-abortion legislation over the past several months. Sources on the board’s side also cited management issues and clashes with longtime political staff. “I believe that the best way to protect abortion care is to be clear that it is not a political issue but a health care one,” Wen wrote in a statement. Former board chairman Alexis McGill Johnson will be Planned Parenthood’s acting president. BuzzFeed

– The nominations are in. Mark your calendars for the Emmy Awards in September. The lead actress in a comedy category is particularly stacked (but all white), with Christina Applegate, Catherine O’Hara, Natasha Lyonne, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Rachel Brosnahan, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. (JLD is back for her last tour for Veep.) Waller-Bridge’s two series—Fleabag and Killing Eve—scored a total of 20 nominations. One of the biggest snubs was Julia Roberts, who didn’t get nominated for HomecomingNew York Times

– EU-fficial. Ursula von der Leyen secured enough votes to officially be elected president of the EU Commission, the first woman in the job. “The trust you placed in me is confidence you placed in Europe,” the former German defense minister said. Christine Lagarde officially resigned as IMF managing director yesterday ahead of the nomination process for her to take over the European Central Bank.  

– Walkout organizers walk. Eight months after the Google walkout, four out of seven of the organizers have now left the company. The two women who said they experienced retaliation after organizing the global protest have resigned: Claire Stapleton last month and Meredith Whittaker this week. Celie O’Neil-Hart recently revealed that she started a new job at Pinterest, and Erica Anderson left in January. Wired

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: The Estée Lauder Companies promoted Sara Moss to vice chairman. Former Rep. Mimi Walters joins the board of B. Riley Financial. Erin Westerman was promoted to Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group president of production. Former Morgan Stanley executive Zoe Cruz joins Ripple as a senior strategic advisor. Bain Capital Ventures promoted Merritt Hummer to senior principal and Aneesha Mehta to principal. Linda Regner Dykeman will be chief agent of Canada for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. 


– OK, Kellyanne? Kellyanne Conway spoke to journalists about President Trump’s comments that four congresswomen should “go back” to where they “came from,” but during the media availability she asked one reporter, Andrew Feinberg, “What’s your ethnicity?” New York Magazine

– Smoked out. A decade ago, women starting marijuana companies found the industry to be an even playing field. But as venture capital money has poured in, cannabis has become increasingly dominated by white men. Bloomberg

– Global roundup. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines is known for a long history of sexist remarks and even jokes about rape, but he signed a new law that criminalizes wolf-whistling, catcalling and other forms of sexual harassment in public spaces. Malta is the only country in Europe that outright bans abortion; the abortion rights movement is gaining some momentum there, with activists hoping to follow in Ireland’s footsteps after the country legalized abortion in a referendum last year. While “womenomics” has been a central part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic revival plan for Japan, more women than ever are running for office and many are campaigning on the shortcomings of those efforts. 

– Sister speaks up. Maryam Shojaei has for years protested Iran’s rule preventing women from attending soccer matches by holding up banners whenever Iran’s team plays outside the country. But she’s only just identified herself as the sister of Masoud Soleimani Shojaei, captain of the Iranian men’s team. New York Times

Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe. Share it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


The Essence primary The Atlantic

The 60 best law firms for women Working Mother

Go broke or go home bachelorette parties New York Times

How I get it done: Friends creator Marta Kauffman hits snooze every morning The Cut


“That’d be like if I had a son and a daughter and I gave him an allowance of $10 and her $4.60. How would that go over in your family?”

-All Raise CEO Pam Kostka, at Fortune‘s Brainstorm Tech, about a woman raising 46 cents in funding to a man’s dollar