Welcome back to Insider Weekly! I’m Matt Turner, editor-in-chief of business at Insider.
What does it take to be a good CEO?
For a time, the answer was relatively straightforward. The Milton Friedman school of thought prioritized profit above all.
But as the years have rolled by, expectations have changed. Theories about how to deliver shareholder value over the long term have evolved. CEOs have woken up to having more stakeholders than just their shareholders, including society, employees, and customers.
Out is cost cutting and offshoring as a default, in is environmental, social and governance metrics, centering a company around common values, and connecting with an increasingly diverse customer base and workforce.
Insider talked to CEOs from Best Buy, Intuit, 1-800-Flowers, Planned Parenthood, and other companies about how the job has changed and what the next generation of leaders will need to prioritize. Read on for a Q&A with the leadership editor Brandon T. Harden for more.
Also in this week’s newsletter:
- More than 10 former employees took us inside Better’s week from hell.
- The massive Amazon Web Services outage could wreak havoc on the holidays.
- Pimco’s work culture is under scrutiny from major investors.
Let me know what you think of all our stories at email@example.com
Brandon T. Harden, Insider’s leadership editor, takes us behind the scenes of our package on the future of corporate leadership.
What led the leadership team to start this project?
We wanted to produce a project that spoke to the next generation of CEOs by outlining skills they’re going to need to master, the next phase of corporate diversity, and some of the key individuals who are shaping corporate opinions.
What has your team been hearing from CEOs this past year?
We heard CEOs be honest about being held accountable for more than profits. This project builds on that sentiment. We wanted to understand the shift in chief-executive responsibilities.
From our reporting, we’ve found that the three biggest issues for CEOs are the growing climate crisis, diversity and inclusion, and the future of the workplace. Many CEOs we talked to understand the cultural significance of 2020 and 2021, and many are trying to balance keeping their companies afloat while responding to social demands. They want to do the right thing.
What should readers take away from this?
CEOs are human, too; they have personal trials and triumphs like the rest of us. Even CEOs don’t know what to do in certain situations, and often they’re learning in real time. We should hold them accountable for their decisions and keep the pressure on them to move the business world forward. But we should also offer them some grace. I hope that readers get that sense when they’re reading through this project.
Check out the full package here: The future of corporate leadership: How CEOs will navigate the next decade
Better.com, once heralded as America’s favorite startup, went viral last week after CEO Vishal Garg laid off 900 employees over a three-minute Zoom call. Since then, top execs have resigned, the company doubled severance pay, and Garg apologized and then announced a leave of absence. Former employees gave us an inside look at where it all went wrong.
A massive Amazon Web Services outage on Tuesday disrupted the company’s operations — and affected popular sites like Netflix, Tinder, and Zoom with it. Employees told us the outage will likely lead to delivery delays for Amazon packages, just as the holiday season comes to a head.
The $2.2 trillion bond giant Pimco has endured a laundry list of lawsuits and negative headlines, including claims that the company mistreated women and people of color who work there.
Insider conducted more than 30 interviews trying to pin down why Pimco is so often in the news for the wrong reasons.
More of this week’s top reads:
- Crisia Nuñez makes $5,000 a week washing people’s clothes on SudShare — more than she ever made driving for ride-hailing apps.
- Two real-estate experts gave their picks for the seven top cities in the US to buy a house in. Plus they shared why you should consider investing outside of your home state.
- Grand Rounds, now Included Health, is gearing up for an initial public offering in early 2022. Here’s what you need to know.
- Some ex-BuzzFeed staffers are fuming that they couldn’t immediately dump their shares after the company’s IPO.
- Salesforce’s $6.5 billion bet on MuleSoft is getting bogged down by high turnover and tough competition from giants like Amazon and Microsoft.
- Meet the top data science execs at Netflix, Disney, WarnerMedia, and more Hollywood companies who are masterminding the streaming wars and hiring hundreds of new workers.
- The 21 hottest adtech companies of 2021.
Compiled with help from Phil Rosen and Jordan Erb.