CEO DailyCFO DailyBroadsheetData SheetTerm Sheet

Meet the married couple behind Pfizer’s COVID vaccine

November 11, 2020, 1:50 PM UTC

This is the web version of The Broadsheet, a daily newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Senate races in Georgia lead Republicans to back President Trump’s refusal to concede the election, Ulta Beauty partners with Target, and we meet the couple that spearheaded Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. Have a good Wednesday.

– The science of relationships. If you, like me, are in awe of couples who manage to maintain their relationships while working together, just imagine what it must be like not just to start a company with your significant other—but to develop a vaccine together in the midst of a pandemic.

That’s how Drs. Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin, BioNTech’s chief medical officer and CEO, respectively, spent much of 2020.

Understandably, many of us who read Monday’s news that Pfizer had reported early data that its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective may have missed that fact that the pharma giant’s vaccine was developed in partnership with the couple and their company, BioNTech, which is based in Germany.

Türeci and Sahin, who are both of Turkish descent (Sahin was born there), balanced the effort, called Project Lightspeed, with caring for their teenage daughter. Perhaps this all-encompassing world of science and family is second nature for them; several stories note that the pair went back to their lab on their wedding day. Their partnership also seems to buttress the idea that a company’s commitment to gender diversity starts at the top: Deutsche Welle reports that more than half of BioNTech’s employees are female.

Kristen Bellstrom
kristen.bellstrom@fortune.com
@kayelbee

Today’s Broadsheet was curated by Emma Hinchliffe

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- All about Georgia. Why are Republicans standing by President Trump as he continues to claim voter fraud with no evidence and refuses to concede the election? The answer may lie among Trump-supporting voters in Georgia, where two January races—including Sen. Kelly Loeffler's bid—will decide control of the Senate. And, by the way, the First Lady and First-Lady-elect haven't been in touch either. Politico

- Ulta-mate Target. Ulta Beauty, led by CEO Mary Dillon, will open mini-stores inside 100 Target locations. The bold partnership unites two competitors as beauty becomes more important to the retail experienceFortune

- Competition's steep. EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager took a step this week toward an antitrust decision against Amazon. The Big Tech foe sent a "statement of objection" to the tech giant over alleged misuse of the data on third-party merchants. Fortune 

- Inside CZI. A former employee for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the nonprofit funded by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, filed a racial discrimination complaint. Raymond Holgado says that "Black employees who want to advance within the organization are shut down." A CZI spokesperson said the complaint was "unsubstantiated." The Verge 

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: KPMG hired Elena Richards as chief diversity and inclusion officer. Karen McCormick, chief investment officer of Beringea, joins Fnatic's board of directors. Raegan McDonald-Mosley is the new CEO of sexual health advocacy organization Power to Decide. BetterUp named chief innovation officer Gabrilla Kellerman chief product officer. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Deep breaths. One group that was closely watching President Trump's electoral loss? The women who have accused him of sexual assault and misconduct. "It was the first time in four years that I actually felt like I could really breathe deeply again," says Karena Virginia, who says Trump groped her in the late 1990s. (Trump has denied all allegations.) The Daily Beast

- Another election. In non-U.S. elections news, the ruling party in Myanmar, the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi, said it had won a parliamentary majority. Only a few election winners, however, have been named. Time

- Considering clemency. Saudi Arabia will host the G20 Summit later this month. Ahead of that convening, the kingdom is considering clemency for female activists who were jailed after advocating for women's rights, including the right to drive. Guardian

ON MY RADAR

Peloton teams with Beyoncé to produce new workout series Fortune

How The Queen’s Gambit started a new debate about sexism in chess New York Times

After a scary crash, U.S. cycling star Chloe Dygert plans her next ride Wall Street Journal

Joe Biden's campaign manager told the political future—and was right Vanity Fair

PARTING WORDS

"I expect to get the same filet mignon that white actresses get. ... You cannot throw me a bone with a really nice little piece of meat still on it and expect that’s good enough for me."

-Viola Davis