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October 26, 2020

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Good morning.


I know it’s a truism, but it also happens to be true: What gets measured gets managed. That’s why Fortune and Refinitiv are teaming up to urge companies to take the first step toward achieving full racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion in the workplace: Measure Up.


Since the killing of George Floyd, we’ve seen an outpouring of concern by corporate leaders about diversity, equity and inclusion. In our recent CEO Survey, conducted in partnership with Deloitte, 96% of CEOs said DEI had become a strategic priority for them.


But here’s the thing: the vast majority of companies don’t publicly report metrics on how they are executing on their DEI commitments. Measure Up is an effort to change that. We will challenge companies to report these critical metrics, through Refinitiv’s environmental, social and corporate governance data systems. And we will include that data as part of our Fortune 500 list, and also next year publish a new list identifying the Most Progressive Companies in Racial Inclusion. We will work with Refinitiv to provide data-driven insights, and to host conversations with corporate leaders on critical issues related to the challenge.


Refinitiv CEO David Craig said he believes “the corporate world overwhelmingly wants to see change and understands how vital diversity is in building successful and sustainable companies. However, efforts to tackle minority under-representation in the workplace will fall flat unless companies first have an accurate picture of their racial composition.” Measure Up will help the corporate world “fulfill its promises and respond to the cries for change that have only grown louder in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.”


Craig and Fortune’s Ellen McGirt will unveil the new partnership later today at our CEO Initiative, which I wrote about Friday. It’s a busy day for us: After the CEO Initiative ends, we will move right into our virtual Fortune Global Forum. I’ll be interviewing CEO Larry Culp of one-time-giant General Electric about his efforts to turn the company around in the midst of a pandemic. (Send me your questions!) Other CEOs on the virtual stage at FGF tomorrow, in order of appearance: Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk, Synchrony CEO Margaret Keane, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, Ariel Investments Co-CEO Mellody Hobson, Target CEO Brian Cornell, Natura CEO Roberto Marques, Carbon Engineering CEO Steve Oldham, Paypal CEO Dan Schulman, Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford, HP CEO Enrique Lores, CVS CEO Larry Merlo, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, ADM CEO Juan Luciano, Gap CEO Sonia Syngal, Schneider Electric CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Fosun CEO Guo Guangchang, AirAsia.com CEO Karen Chan, Grab CEO Anthony Tan, CanSino CEO Yu Xuefeng, and Sinovation Ventures CEO Kai-Fu Lee.


Long day. More news below.


Alan Murray
@alansmurray

alan.murray@fortune.com


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TOP NEWS


Facebook prepares


Facebook has internal tools that are designed to calm election-related conflict in various "at-risk" countries—such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar—and it's preparing to deploy them in the U.S. if necessary. The measures include slowing the spread of viral content that may be disinformation, and lowering the bar for the suppression of potentially inflammatory content. Wall Street Journal


Vaccine progress


AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford's candidate COVID-19 vaccine has reportedly produced a "robust immune response" in elderly people, which is very promising news given the susceptibility of this demographic to the novel coronavirus. But let's wait for the full trial data before calling the vaccine safe for older people. It has already been shown that the candidate vaccine generates such responses in healthy adults between 18-55 years of age. Financial Times


European slide


SAP's shares fell more than 18% after the German business-software giant abandoned its medium-term profitability targets. The drop led a general slump in European markets, where the Stoxx 600 was down 0.6% at the time of writing late European morning, and Germany's DAX was down 2.2%. Rising coronavirus case numbers are obviously also a factor, as is the uncertain situation ahead of the U.S. election. Reuters


Looming default


Zambia has long-running economic problems, but the exacerbating force of COVID-19 has led it to suspend debt service payments to external commercial creditors, and now the southern African country seems likely to default if it does not make progress toward an IMF-backed reform package. That would make it the first country to default on its debts since the pandemic struck. A lot of Zambia's debt is Chinese, too, which raises the chances of a strategic or geopolitical Chinese bailout. CNBC



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AROUND THE WATER COOLER


Vaccine efficacy


The European Medicine Agency is likely to apply a lower threshold than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, when judging the efficacy of candidates COVID-19 vaccines for the purposes of approval. EMA staffers say the agency would approve a vaccine even if it worked less than half the time, whereas the FDA wants to see it working at least half the time (vaccines are never 100% effective.) WSJ


China's vaccine


China's still-to-be-approved COVID-19 vaccine is splitting Brazil in two. The governor of São Paulo state, João Doria, has called Sinovac's CoronaVac the safest and most promising of the candidate vaccines that are under development. But President Jair Bolsonaro refuses to purchase CoronaVac, partly due to its country of origin. As Fortune's Grady McGregor and Eamon Barrett put it: "The episode is fueling fears globally that geopolitics—not science—will shape mass immunization campaigns as COVID-19 vaccines start to gain market approval." Fortune


Germany waits


Germans overwhelmingly want Joe Biden to win the election, but they don't have particularly high hopes for his presidency. That's because many of the complaints President Trump has been hurling at Germany and Europe—over things like defense spending levels and Russian gas—have been around for longer than the Trump administration has; he just delivers them with a snarl rather than a smile. Fortune


Peace Prize


The World Food Program won this year's Nobel Peace Prize, but executive director David Beasley sees the award as both an honor and a tragedy. He writes for Fortune: "My colleagues and I are well aware that we are receiving this award only because hundreds of millions of people are at the brink of starvation, and we are striving to keep them alive. This will not change until we commit to finding political solutions to conflicts so people can rebuild their lives and livelihoods." Fortune


This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.


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