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Good morning.

It’s only Wednesday, but CEO Daily is dark for the rest of the Thanksgiving week, so let me offer some feedback this morning. I have lots, thanks to my post yesterday on disinvesting from oil companies. (I called it senseless.)

A few respondents threw shade my way, using the trendy “OK Boomer” put down:

“Your point is taken that oil is key to society today, and I am sure that most, if not all of the smart protesters who took to the field are aware that immediate abstinence from petroleum economy would result in us going back to the dark ages. This said, the world is at risk of unrecoverable changes, and the generation that will be inheriting this is fighting a guerrilla war for environmental continuity. They want faster change, and are looking for any pressure points to speed up that change, and I applaud them. “

“The arguments you’ve amplified of life-as-we-know-it coming to an end are incredibly short-sighted and accepting of climate defeat. We can and will do better. Okay, Boomer?”

“Activists know that there has to be time for a transition period from fossil fuels to renewables. Divestment movements are aimed at making that transition happen now, while we still have a shot at avoiding catastrophic warming, rather than waiting for oil companies to run dry. That means getting everyone on board, including students, universities, and energy companies.”

But some of my Boomer readers took a different view:

“You’re spot-on about the Harvard-Yale halftime. I find myself saying similar things to our students on a regular basis. They have become socially and politically active, which is good, but they aren’t always wise.”

“Totally agree with this, Alan. Thanks for such a clear articulation of the reality of the situation.”

And even one non-Boomer weighed in:

“I was also at Saturday’s game and I agree with your half time assessment. The protesters were oddly lost in time on their proposed solution. Thanks for calling out that we need smarter civic engagement.”

None of this changed my opinion. But it has left me going into the holiday weekend thankful that CEO Daily readers, at least, still are able to have civil debates about important issues.

News below. And if you are looking for a good read this holiday weekend, try Adam Lashinsky’s deep dive into Ynon Kreiz’s effort to revive toymaker Mattel.

Alan Murray


Opioid Crisis

Some of the biggest pharma stocks are a sea of red right now, following the news of a federal criminal investigation into the opioid crisis. The probe is reportedly based on laws usually used to go after drug dealers. Grand jury subpoenas have been received by Teva, Mallinckrodt, Johnson & Johnson and Amneal, as well as distributors AmerisourceBergen and McKesson. Wall Street Journal

Direct Listings

Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange want changes to their listing rules that would allow companies to launch direct listings on their exchanges. Direct listings are cheaper than bank-led IPOs due to lower fees, but have so far only been used to offer existing shares to public investors. It's not yet clear how the sale of new shares through direct listings might work. Financial Times

Musk Suit

Elon Musk's lawyer says the Tesla CEO has no intention of settling the defamation suit against him. Both Musk and Vernon Unsworth—the British cave diver whom Musk accused of being a "pedo guy"—will testify in the case, which goes to trial next week. Musk still maintains that "pedo guy" is a common insult in South Africa. (David Meyer the South African here: Again, this claim is dubious to say the least.) Reuters

Lobby Power

Fortune's Nicolas Rapp and Brian O'Keefe have examined tech giants' spending on lobbying. The biggest cash-splashers? Few surprises here: Alphabet ($21.7 million in 2018), then Amazon ($14.4 million), Facebook ($12.6 million), Microsoft ($9.6 million) and Apple ($6.7 million). Fortune


Twitter Cull

Twitter's user numbers are about to become more realistic, after the firm announced an imminent cull of inactive accounts—including those belonging to the deceased. So expect follower counts to go down and long-blocked usernames to become available. And if you're a user who hasn't logged in for the last six months but nonetheless wants to hang onto your username, look out for an email from Twitter telling you to use it or lose it. BBC

737 Max

Boeing may have been hoping that it could resume 737 Max deliveries to its customers next month, but the FAA is publicly pushing back, saying it intends to inspect and sign off on every individual aircraft before delivery. "The FAA has not completed its review of the 737 Max aircraft design changes and associated pilot training," it said. "The agency will not approve the aircraft for return to service until it has completed numerous rounds of rigorous testing." WSJ

SoulCycle CEO

Melanie Whelan has quit as CEO and director of SoulCycle. The fitness company's CFO, Sunder Reddy, will fill the CEO spot until a permanent replacement is found. Whelan was with the company for almost eight years, half as COO, half as CEO. CNBC

Eddie Gallagher

President Trump intruded upon the military justice process by forcing the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer over the Eddie Gallagher affair. That's according to a Fortune opinion piece by Yale's Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Rice University's Thomas Kolditz, who write: "Now that it’s clear Trump is meddling in the military’s command structure, the Senate needs to intervene and censure the president’s actions." Fortune

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer. 


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