Trump, Bezos, Musk And The Biggest Business Stories Of 2018



2018's biggest business storiesThe greatest news in 2018 has been Meghan Markle, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and kid immigrants traveling caravan, as found by a Ranker’s survey. By comparison, Americans might only consider one company issue that made the top 20: internet neutrality.

We must comprehend reality here. When you’re competing with Thomas Markle, as the soccer coaches say, you need to dig deeper. In that spirit, Chief Executive requested me to gather a list of things that were something in company in 2018. (For our 2019 outlook, look to the following pages next week).

President Trump. America’s slugger in chief proved he could switch hit–as a Republican he opened up oil drilling and embarked on sweeping deregulation. As a  Bernie Sanders populist, he had been happy to browbeat chief executives to bring jobs back and endanger trade wars with all our Chinese and European partners. His most contentious company stand was spiritual, and more especially, restricting H1B visas or lsquo;gift immigrants. ’ Chief executives that stood him up individually, like Harley Davidson’s Matthew Levatich, discovered his vengeful anger.

Taking note, Tim Cook along with a bunch of Silicon Valley chiefs whined Trump’s immigration policies vigorously but failed so en masse.

A Harley-Davidson shouldn’t ever be constructed in a different country-never! Their employees and employees are very angry at them. If they proceed, watch, it will be the beginning of the ending – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will soon be gone and they’ll be taxed like never before!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2018

Jeff Bezos. The Amazon chief turned into a corporate headquarters RFP to the Powerball Lottery. However, to those who follow the motions of Amazon’s famous creator carefully, it was classic Bezos. Innovate a sleepy industry like headquarters facilities, disrupt a fragmented supply chain like cities needing more high paying occupations, and ultimately, select a win-win result, none but two finalists, New York City and the Washington D.C. subway . By the time he included a $15 minimum wage kicker, the pundits got the message. This man knows how to perform with the public relations game.

Elon Musk. The bureau that slept while Bernie Madoff finagled discovered it could proceed quickly when Musk tweeted “financing secured. ” There was a issue. His plan wasn’t approved by the Tesla board. Then, following an erratic New York Times interview and smoking pot in a podcast, even hardcore Muskophiles started to worry. Musk is the most significant automotive executive since Henry Ford (who pays himself on what Ford made, less than $50k annually ) and America didn’t need him . The SEC sent a warning shot. Musk picked himself up, relinquished the chairmanship, started running Tesla again, the stock recovered, and Musk is still tweeting. We have the SEC to thank.

Google Women, Larry Page, and Sundar Pichai. After 30,000 of both Google’s brightest walked outside to protest the company’s sexual misconduct policy, people mistakenly thought this had been a Silicon Valley thing. Google’s girls were apoplectic when they discovered Alphabet CEO Larry Page compensated a departing executive $90 million in severance after improper behavior. Google CEO Sundar Pichai defended the status quo by adding that the company had about 50 other sexual misconduct firings that did not get severance. It was just like telling the environmentalist Exxon Valdez wanted credit for its petroleum that didn’t flow.

That is a bigger problem than many recognize. What happens in Google doesn’t stay at Google. The democratization of the workplace through social media rallied girls.  The remainder of the rank and file will be protesting whatever ails these soon. Chief Executives Will become Chief Mitigation Officers.

Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sheryl Sandberg. Paradoxically, their last names mean ‘mountain’ in German, plus they have mountains to climb. The ‘Supercuts’ hairstyled chief executive withdrew his luck at a Senate hearing by failing to convince America that the Russian hack has been an effort by Putin’s cronies to commit schadenfreude, not electioneering. Rather, Zuckerberg attempted to make the situation Facebook is destined for Sainthood.

For her part, Sheryl Sandberg was flying under the radar until it was discovered she organized oppo research on George Soros, a company critic. It had been her obligation as an officer, however droves of these progressively minded were outraged as Soros is still a left-wing icon. Members of her “Lean In” groups distanced themselves as a result.

Sex and The CEO. Les Moonves, former Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, also Steve Wynn really are some of the better-known cases of CEOs engaging in shenanigans for hire or pleasure. Boards were caught flatfooted, in part on account of the sensational media focus but also their own negligence by being so unaware of their goings-on. The tendency was to act too fast, as Intel appears to get done, or too slowly, like CBS and Wynn Casinos, which waited till decades-old rumors surfaced. It was all about avoiding publicity. Making the CBS board’s newest move even more astonishing. It compounded the pain from litigating Moonves’ severance for lack of cooperation, not misconduct, far more difficult to prove and might dredge up that knows exactly what. It indicates a courtroom battle that can drag on for a long time. Oh, for a lawyer.

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