Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announces her retirement, employees describe a difficult work environment at the company behind the Snoo bassinet, and Nikki Haley enters the 2024 race. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
– Ready for 2024. Yesterday morning, Nikki Haley announced her entry into the 2024 presidential race. The former Republican governor of South Carolina and Trump administration’s U.S. ambassador to the UN is the first to challenge her ex-boss in the GOP primary. She’s expected to formally launch her campaign with an event today.
It’s not the first time Haley has gone up against Donald Trump; before she was a member of his administration, she was a Trump holdout during the 2016 presidential race. Her entry into the 2024 contest puts her at odds with the former president again.
“It’s time for a new generation of leadership to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride, and our purpose,” she said in a campaign video posted yesterday.
Haley, 51, is the daughter of Indian immigrants. She opens her video with a reflection on how she’s always been “different.” “Not Black, not white,” in a segregated Southern town, she says.
While Haley hits several GOP talking points—digs at President Joe Biden and Nikole Hannah-Jones’s 1619 Project among them—she also highlights how she stands out as a Republican candidate. She shows footage of her response as governor to the 2015 mass shooting of Black churchgoers by a white supremacist at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston; Haley took down the Confederate flag outside the state capitol after that tragedy.
Haley was the rare Trump appointee to emerge from the administration with her reputation seemingly fully intact. So far, Trump has issued mixed messages on Haley’s candidacy. “You should do it,” he told reporters that he told her, before later calling her “overly ambitious.”
The former governor isn’t the first woman to seek the Republican nomination (remember Carly Fiorina’s run?); she would be the first female GOP nominee if successful in the primary. But her conservative politics—she’s strongly anti-abortion—make it unlikely that advocates for women’s rights will celebrate a Haley win.
Haley, however, doesn’t shy away from her own view of her identity as a woman. “I don’t put up with bullies,” she says at the end of her announcement video. “And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels.”
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ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
- Historic resignation. California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the longest-serving woman in Senate history, has announced that she will not seek reelection in 2024. A number of Democrats have already announced they will run for the seat. Politico
- CEO trouble. Half of all Fortune 500 companies without a permanent CEO are in the retail industry. Constant consumer behavior disruption, supply-chain issues, and a shallow talent pool create urgent situations where leaders are saddled with impossible problems. Case in point? Bed Bath & Beyond's Sue Gove took over a company headed towards bankruptcy after she served four months as interim CEO. Fortune
- Happiest Baby, unhappy workers. Founders of Happiest Baby, which makes the $1,700 swaying bassinet called the Snoo, present the image of a thriving company that makes life-changing products. But behind the scenes, employees say founders Nina Montée Karp and Harvey Karp have created a culture where workers are spied on and unable to do anything without direct founder approval. The company has denied the allegations. Business Insider
- Phenomenal founders. Meena Harris, lawyer, author, and founder of the apparel-turned-media brand Phenomenal (and Kamala Harris's niece), has launched Phenomenal Ventures with partner Helen Min. They will invest a $6 million fund in pre-seed to Series A rounds at companies focused on software enterprise, fintech, and the future of commerce. TechCrunch
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Tatum Crews was recently promoted to CEO of the Covery. Katie Koch is now CEO of the TCW Group. The Fuller Project has appointed veteran TV producer Stacey Samuel to its board.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- 'Paternal involvement.' Singapore has doubled its paternity leave to four weeks, paid for by the government. The move is intended to help fathers step up at home. Bloomberg
- e.l.f. money. Cosmetic company e.l.f. Beauty has reported 16 consecutive quarters of net sales growth. CFO Mandy Fields is fueled by her love for consumer goods and integrates her financial strategies with smart marketing fit for Gen Z consumers. Fortune
- Ahead of her time. Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun catapulted her to fame in 1959, but the subsequent play The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window wasn't as well received. The play is a critique of white liberalism based on her own life, which was cut short by her battle with cancer. Now Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan are reviving the play. NPR
- Hallmark innovation. Hallmark Channel CEO Wonya Lucas joined the company after the previous CEO faced backlash for pulling ads depicting same-sex marriage. Lucas has walked a fine line of making content that speaks to the channel's fandom while also building diverse story lines that help attract new audiences. CNBC
ON MY RADAR
On Rihanna, her Super Bowl halftime performance, and a mogul’s reality Teen Vogue
Get me Risa Heller! New York Magazine
Oldest living aristocratic widow tells all The New Yorker
Don’t just sponsor women and people of color—defend them Harvard Business Review
"Perhaps one of the things I’ll work on in 2023 is giving myself credit for the emotional intelligence I do have—and spreading the word about how valuable that can be."
—Actor Kristen Bell
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