The pandemic helped shape this year’s 40 Under 40 list

Good morning.

Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list is out today, highlighting some extraordinary people who’ve accomplished great things in their first four decades. Not surprisingly, the pandemic helped shaped the list. Hamilton Bennett, senior director at Moderna, is on it for her effort in producing and distributing a COVID vaccine in record time. She called it a “moral imperative” to get the job done. E-commerce entrepreneur Chris Bell also made the list, for creating a fast-growing unicorn that’s helping online retailers compete in the increasingly competitive virtual marketplace. And then there is Keith Gill, a.k.a. “Roaring Kitty”, who clearly demonstrated that the dynamics of economic power have changed, driving a buying frenzy in GameStop stock. 

There are some well-known names on the list—singer Olivia Rodrigo; gymnast Simone Biles; FTC Chair Lina Khan. A few of my other favorites:

  • Keller Rinaudo, cofounder and CEO of Zipline, which uses drones to deliver emergency drugs, blood, and now vaccines to remote villages in Rwanda and Ghana. Zipline is gearing up to launch in Nigeria, Japan and even the United States.
  • Benji Backer, founder of the American Conservation Coalition, who is determined to show that conservatives should care about saving the planet for future generations.
  • Bryony Winn, the Zimbabwe native and Rhodes Scholar who is trying to reinvent health care as head of strategy at Anthem.
  • Rohan Seth, co-founder of the voice social network Clubhouse

But I don’t want to give it all away. You can read the entire list, and get a sense of the future, here. And if there’s someone who you think should be on the list but isn’t, send me a note. I’ll print your suggestions Friday.

Other news below.

Alan Murray



PayPal has bought the Japanese buy-now-pay-later firm Paidy for $2.7 billion, after rival Square picked up Australia's Afterpay for more than 10 times as much. PayPal says the Paidy purchase will "expand PayPal's capabilities, distribution and relevance in the domestic payments market in Japan, the third largest ecommerce market in the world, complementing the company's existing cross-border ecommerce business in the country." Reuters

Crypto crash

Bitcoin and a bunch of the other leading cryptocurrencies took a tumble yesterday, with the overall market value dropping $410 billion in 24 hours. Bitcoin's retreat may have had something to do with El Salvador's clunky launch of the coin as official tender in the country. Fortune

Coinbase threat

The SEC has threatened to sue Coinbase if it launches its new yield product called Lend, which lets users earn interest on digital assets. The SEC apparently sees Lend as a security. Coinbase chief legal officer Paul Grewal: "Despite Coinbase keeping Lend off the market and providing detailed information, the SEC still won’t explain why they see a problem." Financial Times

Chinese economy

China's central bank has decided not to go for "flood-like" stimulus, and its monetary policy remains within a normal range. Sun Gofeng, head of the central bank's monetary policy department: "Current conditions may not require as much liquidity as before to keep money market interest rates operating stably." CNBC


U.S. slowdown

The U.S. economy isn't taking off this week as was recently hoped for. Instead, the Delta variant has hit the plans of businesses and consumers, and economists are downgrading their forecasts. Wall Street Journal

Booster defense

Some have criticized Pfizer for pushing third doses of its COVID-19 vaccine before there is scientific consensus that this is needed for the general public. But Philip Dormitzer, Pfizer's chief scientific officer, says the company is just creating tools before they are needed—"Being very proactive and making sure that the solution is in place ahead of a crisis is important"—and the decision to deploy is ultimately up to policymakers. Financial Times

Israel warning

One country where boosters are being rolled out is Israel, which has recently morphed from vaccination poster child to one of the world's biggest pandemic hotspots. Infections hit an all-time high several days ago, but the vaccinated (yes, even those without the booster) are proving largely resilient to serious disease. Fortune

Tech offensive

U.S. lawmakers have not been swayed by Apple's recent moves to address antitrust complaints, and are pushing on with legislation that would force the company to change the practices around app downloads and payments. Momentum has come from other countries such as South Korea, which have made the first move on this. Fortune

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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