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Franklin Templeton CEO Jenny Johnson reflects on the lessons of former employee Amy Cooper

July 6, 2020, 12:36 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Ghislaine Maxwell is arrested, Thrive Causemetics could be the next big beauty deal, and Franklin Templeton’s CEO reflects on the lessons of her former employee Amy Cooper. Have a productive Monday.

– Lessons learned. The $700 billion asset manager Franklin Templeton was one of the earliest companies to respond to racial injustice when, about a week before nationwide protests over police violence and racism began, its own employee, Amy Cooper, called 911 on Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper in Central Park.

In an exclusive interview with Fortune‘s Susie Gharib, Franklin Templeton CEO Jenny Johnson—the fourth member of her family and first woman to run the business—reflects on that incident and the past few months of greater corporate reckoning with discrimination and racism.

“We concluded that this was not consistent with our values as a firm, and frankly we knew we needed to make a swift decision. There wasn’t a lot else to debate once you’ve decided that was the situation,” Johnson says of her fast decision to fire Cooper.

When Franklin Templeton’s $4.5 billion deal to acquire Legg Mason closes as is expected this year, Regina Curry, the chief diversity officer for that firm, will begin reporting to Johnson and serve in the same role for the new $1.5 trillion asset manager. Johnson says she has been leaning on Curry already, “tapp[ing] into her expertise as we’ve been trying to respond to some of the issues, including our own within Central Park.” Johnson hopes Curry will help Franklin Templeton reach a wider candidate pool of potential hires.

Susie asked Johnson to reflect on responding to these kinds of social issues as a CEO—something her father and grandfather didn’t have to do when they led the family business. “Every CEO should carry that responsibility today,” she said. “I certainly do.”

Watch Susie’s full interview with Johnson here.

Emma Hinchliffe
emma.hinchliffe@fortune.com
@_emmahinchliffe

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Epstein arrest. Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime companion of Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested on Thursday and charged with recruiting and grooming underage girls on behalf of Epstein—and for engaging in sexual abuse herself. (Maxwell has denied wrongdoing in the past.) She is scheduled to appear in court in New York this week. 

- Stake for sale. Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, No. 44 on Fortune's Most Powerful Women International list, has reportedly struggled to sell a stake in the $3.8 billion Louis Dreyfus Holding company after borrowing $1 billion to buy out family members. Louis-Dreyfus is reportedly reluctant to give up control with any sale. Bloomberg

- A Thriving business. Karissa Bodnar, 31, founded the vegan beauty brand Thrive Causemetics in 2015. Now, the company with $150 million in revenue is seeking a possible sale or IPO on the heels of some other high-profile beauty deals (namely, the Kardashians'.) Bloomberg

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Amy Emmerich resigned as global president and chief content officer at Refinery29 following an investigation into the brand's work environment. Luggage brand Away said that Steph Korey would depart as co-CEO by the end of the year; Korey resigned after an investigation into Away's workplace last year, but later returned to the company. WNYC staff have protested the recent appointment of Audrey Cooper, the former editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Chronicle, as editor-in-chief, objecting to her lack of experience in New York and in public radio; staff had also asked for a non-white leader.  

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Remote woes. Young women in finance are eager to get back to the physical office, worried that they're missing out on networking opportunities that have become even harder to break into remotely. Bloomberg

- Hard-fought victory. Jonathan Irons, the man whose freedom Maya Moore left her basketball career to fight for, was released from prison last week after his sentence was overturned. Moore's fight for justice follows a long tradition of female athletes advocating for causes—and, with lower profiles than male athletes to begin with, sometimes not seeing that work amplified. New York Times

- We all scream? Another female-founded business has been accused of fostering a toxic work environment. This time around, it's the Museum of Ice Cream, founded by Maryellis Bunn. Employees allege that Bunn "manages by intimidation, verbally accosting employees and publicly berating them for mistakes, while ignoring the expertise of older, more experienced hires." Bunn denied the allegations. Forbes

- Tale of two interviews. Two moms working while taking care of children during lockdown had live TV segments interrupted by kids last week, a la BBC Dad, with very different results. During one interview, the host cut off foreign affairs editor Deborah Haynes when her son appeared. In the other, a host let professor Clare Wenham finish talking while her daughter wandered around. New York Times

ON MY RADAR

Boeing’s top spokesman resigns over 1987 view on women in combat Bloomberg

Meghan felt 'unprotected' amid 'false' media claims, court documents suggest BBC

Meet Glamour's 2020 college women of the year Glamour

As a Black woman, I know too much about white hair Elle

PARTING WORDS

"AO 2017 champions 🤩." 

-The Australian Open on Twitter, captioning photos of Serena Williams and her daughter Olympia on the tennis court. Williams was pregnant when she won the Australian Open in 2017.