Nestlé’s Plant-Based Bacon Cheeseburger Is Coming
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Watch out Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Nestlé has gotten the plant-based religion. “The one big theme where we can make a lot of progress in health and make progress on sustainability at the same time is plant-based nutrition,” Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider told the Fortune Global Forum audience on Tuesday. He said the company has come up with what he called a “triple play”—a bacon cheeseburger that is entirely plant based. I’d be happy to hear from CEO Daily readers who’ve tried it.
Asked whether Nestlé was trying to capitalize on the success of the above-mentioned startups, Schneider said the company has been working on plant-based solutions for decades: “This is an overnight success that has taken us 30 years.”
Also Tuesday, L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon talked about how his company is capitalizing on the exploding interest in beauty products in the China. He said China is now his company’s second largest market, after the U.S., and growing 40% a year. Young Chinese “have a strong appetite for our brands.” And as a result, the company is enjoying its best growth in decades, Agon said.
New Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson told the group there has “never been a better time to become CEO.” Using A.I. and other new technologies “we can let go of prejudices and ways of working that are decades old, and we can look at new ways of working. We can rethink the everyday.” He said Sanofi is using A.I. to do two things: “To create individual medicines, which is like finding a needle in a haystack, and then to manage the health, not of one person, but a population.”
Finally, acting Groupe Renault CEO Clotilde Delbos—who wouldn’t comment on whether she wanted the job permanently, but certainly acted like it—said she is not concerned that the transition to autonomous vehicles being shared by multiple drivers would ultimately depress sales: “You are going to be using this car so much that the lifespan is going to be two to three years, not seven. You’re going to need fewer cars, but you will need them more often.”
More from the forum here. Other news below.
Boeing has scored deals for another 50 of its contentious 737 Max aircraft, which have been grounded around the world following two fatal crashes. Kazakhstan's Air Astana wants 30, and another unidentified customer wants 20 more. Turkey's SunExpress bought 10 on Monday, too. Boeing commercial airplanes chief Stan Deal: "I believe this is momentum. Thus far we’re restoring confidence." Wall Street Journal
Yet another potential stumbling block for a U.S.-China trade deal: China has accused the U.S. of interference after the Senate unanimously passed a bill supporting pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. The "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act" bill now goes to the House, where it will need to be resolved with a bill already passed there last month. CNBC
A draft decision was supposed to appear by the end of this year in the first really big enforcement of the EU's tough GDPR privacy law—a case involving WhatsApp that could theoretically cost parent Facebook billions of euros. However, the Irish regulator handling the case has told Fortune her decision has been pushed back into 2020, due to a WhatsApp procedural complaint. Reminder: the law came into effect in May 2018. Fortune
E-cigarette maker Juul has been sued by the attorneys-general of New York and California, and by two Washington state counties, and a school district. The suits allege the largely Altria-owned firm targeted minors with its flavored vapes, despite knowing the associated risks. CNN
AROUND THE WATER COOLER
The Financial Times has a harrowing piece on the culture of fear at the Big Four accounting firms, when it comes to handling sexual harassment, bullying and homophobia complaints. From the piece: "The FT identified a disturbingly common pattern in terms of how complainants were treated: most initially felt ignored, then isolated and were eventually pushed out. Legal clauses aimed at silencing them swiftly followed." Financial Times
Icahn vs. Malls
Activist investor Carl Icahn is making a big bet on mall owners being unable to service their debts. If he's right, he could reportedly make over $400 million. However, other short-sellers have already lost hundreds of millions on this one, and Icahn has also apparently suffered early losses since placing his bet in recent months. Wall Street Journal
Twitter vs. Tories
Twitter has criticized the U.K.'s governing Conservative Party for changing the handle of its press office's account to "@factcheckUK" for last night's debate between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. A widespread outcry—including from actual fact-checking organizations—led the Tories to swiftly reverse the stunt, but Twitter said it would take "decisive corrective action" if anyone tried something similar again. (The debate was roughly a tie, by the way.) BBC
Technology group Prosus says it aims to make many more investments in food delivery businesses around the world—with India being a particular target. Prosus, recently spun off from South Africa's Naspers, is currently trying to take over the U.K.'s Just Eat, which is also being wooed by Delivery.com. Reuters
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.
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