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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke at Fortune’s CEO dinner in Davos last night, and expanded on his company’s multi-billion commitment to offset all the carbon it has ever put into the atmosphere.
“As we make these commitments, call them obligations, why are we doing it? I think we are doing it out of enlightened self interest. How do we as a company succeed? The world has to do well.
“I love Colin Mayer’s definition of a corporation. It’s a social enterprise, and a social enterprise’s value is that it ‘profitably solves the problem of people and the planet.’ That definition is what it’s all about for me. The fundamental source of all value in capitalism still comes from the planet and the people who live on the planet, and if the planet is in danger, what happens to capitalism?
“The best system we’ve ever developed to allocate resources is capitalism. So if we want to keep the party going, we need to think of all the unintended consequences, whether it is the inclusiveness of growth or sustainability.”
And since it is Friday, some feedback. My post on shareholders vs. stakeholders provoked some skepticism:
“Whenever the stakeholder capitalism debate is mentioned I recommend The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ is playing at high volume!” —JL
“The debate (on shareholder value vs. stakeholder value) will rage on as long as there is a short-term and a long-term, and as long as shareholders, customers, employees, unions, suppliers, governments, citizens—and anybody else you can think of as a so-called ‘stakeholder’—all want more ‘value’ from their companies.” —KF
Finally this morning, how many direct reports does Sundar Pichai have? “About 16,” he tells Adam Lashinsky in this interesting interview. More news below.
Soros vs Zuckerberg
George Soros has suggested that Facebook and President Trump are in cahoots, much to the social network's chagrin. "Facebook will work together to re-elect Trump, and Trump will work to protest Facebook so that this situation cannot be changed and it makes me very concerned about the outcome for 2020," he said in Davos. Bloomberg
Former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has agreed to a lifetime ban from the banking industry, as part of a settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency over the firm's fake-accounts scandal. Stumpf will also pay a $17.5 million fine. The scale of these penalties is unusual—look at the lack of hard censure that followed the financial crisis. Wall Street Journal
JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon picked up $31.5 million in compensation for last year, up 1.6% on the year before. That includes his $1.5 million base salary, $25 million in performance-linked restricted stock, and $5 million as a cash bonus. JPMorgan's corporate and investment bank head Daniel Pinto, and its consumer bank boss Gordon Smith, each got $22.5 million. Bloomberg
Xerox and HP
Xerox is not taking HP's rejection well. After the PC manufacturer refused to engage in takeover talks, Xerox said it would nominate 11 directors to HP's board in order to push the merger through. HP continues to argue that Xerox's proposed price undervalues the company. Fortune
AROUND THE WATER COOLER
China has now suspended public transport in 10 cities, as it scrambles to contain the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus in the context of the Lunar New Year and all the travel it usually entails. Temples will also be shut over the weekend, and Shanghai Disneyland is closed until further notice. Meanwhile, the city of Wuhan will construct a 1,000-bed hospital over the weekend in order to treat victims—yes really; the building is prefabricated. Reuters
With Brexit one week away—the law is passed and the agreement signed as of this morning—the U.K. is getting ready to start negotiating trade deals on its own. First up, reportedly, will be a deal with Japan, which London hopes will be wrapped up by the end of the year. Also in the top tier of prospective partners are the U.S., Australia and New Zealand (and obviously the EU). Then, Canada. Sun
Uber, which is still allowed to operate in London while it appeals a ban there, has struck a deal with Nissan allowing it to offer 2,000 of the Japanese automaker's electric vehicles to its drivers at a discount. It's part of a wider Uber electric-car push that's designed to combat urban air pollution. CNBC
Dos Santos probe
A banker who managed the account of Sonangol, the oil firm that was chaired by Isabel dos Santos, has been found dead by apparent suicide. Nuno Ribeiro da Cunha was named alongside dos Santos—Africa's richest woman and daughter of Angola's former president—as a suspect in an Angolan corruption probe following leaks about how dos Santos accumulated her fortune. BBC
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.