Announcing Fortune Connect, our new membership community

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Good morning.

Today is a big day for Fortune. We are announcing the launch of a new membership community—Fortune Connect—created for mid-career professionals who are on the executive track, rising fast, and leadership bound.

Why are we doing it?  Readers of this newsletter know that we believe business is changing… for the better. The change may not go as far as some would like, or as fast. But change is happening, driven by the demands of employees, customers, investors and the world at large. Society is making it clear that business has to do better, or risk losing its license to operate. And business leaders are responding.

Fortune Connect is designed to help the next generation of top leaders prepare for this change. We provide weekly programming aimed at allowing Fortune Connect fellows to interact with the leaders at the frontiers of business change, with a special focus on purpose-driven business, stakeholder capitalism and inclusive leadership.

At Fortune, we’ve worked to make business better since our founding 90 years ago. Our Most Powerful Women community, now two decades old, has helped increase diversity in the top ranks of business leaders. Our Best Companies to Work For franchise, also two decades old, has encouraged an increased focus on human capital. Our Change the World list and the related CEO Initiative, which was conceived at an historic meeting in Vatican City four years ago, have encouraged companies to use their superpowers to address the most pressing needs of society. Fortune Connect is the next step in the evolution of our purpose. If you are interested in learning more—for yourself or your executives—please go here, or shoot me a note.

Special thanks to our five inaugural Knowledge Partners for Fortune Connect: Accenture, Genpact, IBM, Salesforce and Workday.  These are all companies that care deeply about talent development, and we welcome them as collaborators in this important project.

Also this morning, Ellen McGirt and I interview Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison on our podcast, Leadership Next (Apple/Spotify). He shared some interesting news about a new program Lowe’s is launching to get more products from small and minority-owned businesses on its shelves. Other news below.

Alan Murray


TikTok deal

The proposed tie-up between Oracle and ByteDance's TikTok will be reviewed by the Trump administration this week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said yesterday. The deal would be a "technical partnership" rather than involving the sale of TikTok's U.S. operations, as the administration has demanded. Financial Times

Carbon neutrality

Facebook and Google have joined Apple and Microsoft in announcing plans to go completely carbon-neutral. But there are differences—Google is committing to entirely carbon-free energy use in all its data centers and campuses by 2030, and says it had retroactively offset all the carbon it has emitted since 1998; Facebook says it will become 100% supported by renewable energy this year, and ensure that its "value chain" is also net-zero-emissions by 2030. Guardian

Net neutrality

The EU's top court has for the first time interpreted the bloc's 2015 net-neutrality law, ruling that it forbids the practice of "zero rating." This practice involved operators allowing some services, such as Netflix and Spotify, to be used without counting towards the customers' data cap. Some had feared that the 2015 law left a loophole by not mentioning zero rating specifically, but it turns out that the loophole isn't really there. Fortune

Asian economy

The Asian economy will contract this year, for the first time in over six decades. That's according to the Asian Development Bank, which predicted tens of millions of people being thrown into poverty—but also forecast a "swoosh-shaped" recovery next year across the Asia-Pacific region. Channel News Asia


Nvidia and ARM

What's the deal with chipmaker Nvidia's controversial acquisition of ARM, the chip-design behemoth? Fortune's Jeremy Kahn dives into two key aspects: 1) Why the deal worries the U.K. tech sector so much; and 2) How the deal creates an A.I. computing juggernaut.

COVID tests 1

COVID-19 test-maker Becton Dickinson is investigating reports of false-positive results from around two dozen U.S. nursing homes that use its testing equipment. In this context, false positives could be catastrophic because they might lead to uninfected people being placed with infected people and catching the coronavirus. Wall Street Journal

COVID tests 2

The U.K.'s buckling coronavirus testing system has reached the point where people in COVID-19 hotspots such as Manchester can't get a test locally. "This is challenging," admitted Home Secretary Priti Patel in an interview. "There is no magic solution to say this is all going to be perfect." Bloomberg

Venusian intrigue

Astronomers have detected the chemical phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus, which is interesting because—as far as we know—the molecule can only be produced by bacteria or industrial processes. That makes it a potential "biosignature" of life on Venus; or at least somewhere in its atmosphere, because the planet's surface is a tad toasty (the mean temperature is 867 °F). Or, some kind of chemical process we don't know about could be creating the phosphine. Washington Post

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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