Uber IPO, Daimler Slump, Deutsche Bank: CEO Daily for April 26, 2019



Excellent morning.

As it is Friday, some comments. Mike Luttig, the general counsel of Boeing, had a strong reaction to my proposal that Boeing might have a Wells Fargo problem. He writes:

“Your piece this morning, Alan, is spectacularly wrong and grossly misleading. It is a disservice to Boeing, but more importantly, it is a profound disservice to the truth.”

Judge Luttig is an honorable man, and knows far more about the Boeing situation than I do. But as I responded to him, if Boeing has a fantastic story to tell, it isn’t doing a good job of telling it. At a time like this, in particular, it would be helpful for the public to hear more from the CEO, Dennis Muilenburg. (His main public reaction to date has been this address he gave at the George W. Bush Presidential Center Forum on April 11.)

ML also defends Boeing:

“Come on, Alan, if the flying public didn’t trust Boeing they wouldn’t be flying on any Boeing planes.”

Fair point.

Separately, JK took some pleasure in my interview with Marc Andreessen from 2015, when we sparred over whether the winner-take-most dynamics of the technology industry were contributing to inequality:

“I didn’t know you asked (Andreessen) that at that conference. I’m proud that my favorite high-level biz newsletter asked the tough questions. Congrats! And nice job pushing this narrative. It’s so true.”

Burnished and bruised, I’ll retire for the weekend. More news below.

Alan Murray


[email protected]

Top News

Uber IPO

Uber was gunning for an IPO valuation of around $100 billion, but following Lyft’s post-IPO struggles it is now considering something in the $80 billion to $90 billion range. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports Uber intends to raise $8 billion to $10 billion in the flotation. WSJ

Daimler Slump

Daimler suffered a 16% drop in profits during its first quarter, thanks to decreasing Mercedes-Benz deliveries and the cost of developing new models. “We now have to work hard to achieve our targets for 2019,” said outgoing CEO Dieter Zetsche. Investors are keen to know what strategy Zetsche’s replacement, Ola K?llenius, will have up his sleeve when he takes over next month. Bloomberg

Deutsche Bank

Sticking with German giants, Deutsche Bank’s profits were up 67 percent in Q1, the company reported shortly with smaller German rival Commerzbank. The profit boost beat analyst expectations, and possibly demonstrated why the government-pushed merger — intended to rescue two banks that are fighting by fusing them would have given more risk. CNBC

Amazon Prime

Amazon is pushing to deliver products to Prime subscribers. The company will invest $800 million this quarter in an attempt to halve the shipping window. CNN

Around the Water Cooler

Central Banks

Central banks are the climate change activists, as Katherine Dunn writes for Fortune. Their approach is one of handling nations’ financial risk, and doing nothing in the face of massive climate change is not an option. Case in point: the Bank of England, which last week announced it expects banks and insurance companies to disclose how they are dealing with that risk. Fortune

KPN and Huawei

The Dutch telecoms provider KPN is shunning Huawei’s equipment for its core 5G network, after taking into account”the evolving evaluation on the protection of vital infrastructure and the impact that this may have on future Dutch policy.” The Dutch government itself did not induce KPN to make the call. Reuters

Australia and Huawei

Since the South China Morning Post notes, Australia appears to be the sole key U.S. intelligence ally that has gone ahead with a complete ban on Huawei’s 5G equipment. The paper reports that, with an Australian election Beijing might have more luck trying to win over a new government when it comes to letting in the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker. SCMP

Roche Delay

The Swiss drugmaker Roche is facing greater regulatory scrutiny than expected because of its potential $4.3 billion takeover of gene therapy specialist Spark Therapeutics. It had extended the offer until May 2 to permit the FTC to fully review the transaction, but it seems that inspection is taking so the offer is extended until June 3. Reuters

This variant of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer. Find previous editions here, and subscribe to additional Fortune newsletters here.

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