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Photos: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic via Getty Images; CG/VCG via Getty Images

It's been a whirlwind weekend for big names leaving big jobs.

The big picture: Major decision-makers at massive companies on both sides of the Pacific are stepping down — for varied reasons and on different timetables. Some, like CBS' Les Moonves, were unexpectedly forced out due to their own indiscretions, while others, like Alibaba's Jack Ma, are stage-managing their own planned departures.

Les Moonves is out as CEO at CBS, following new (and even more disturbing) allegations of sexual harassment and assault (all of which Moonves denies). The network also swapped out six board members, and announced a settlement with majority shareholder Shari Redstone.

  • Maybe bank analysts now will ask some actual questions of CBS management, something they were too cowardly to do during the company's most recent earnings call.
  • In case they struggle to come up with one, I'll help: Ronan Farrow reports that Moonves told " a portion of the CBS board... early this year" about a criminal investigation. Who specifically did he tell, and when exactly?
  • More on Moonves and CBS in today's Axios Pro Rata podcast.

Jack Ma will step down as Alibaba's executive chairman on the company's 20th anniversary, which comes one year from today. His successor will be current company CEO Daniel Zhang.

  • Ma is based in China, but Silicon Valley treats him with a reverence that is only rivaled by that for Jeff Bezos and the late Steve Jobs.
  • In a letter to Alibaba shareholders and employees, Ma signed off by writing: "Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba."

Imran Khan is stepping down as chief strategy officer of Snap, where he has been CEO Evan Spiegel's right-hand man since 2015.

  • This comes as Snap shares hit an all-time low on Friday, and are down another 1.3% in pre-market trading.
  • Spiegel has said that he's worked to improve his internal communications skills, and that will now be put to the test.
  • Word is that Khan has been making a bunch of investments in China.

Tim Armstrong is on his way out of Verizon, where he leads the media and advertising biz, as first reported by WSJ.

  • This one is a bit confusing, and not only because it comes just one year after Verizon completed the Yahoo purchase that Armstrong championed.
  • Armstrong reportedly wanted to spin out his business (called Oath), but was turned down by new Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg — even though Vestberg has seemed much more interested in making Verizon a networking company than a networking+media company.
  • So... is Vestberg really laser-focused on 5G, or is there a small part of him that wants to ape AT&T? And, if so, is the real problem that Armstrong wanted a spin-out whereas Vestberg wanted to keep Oath in-house and expand it?
  • All of which maybe leads to... Verizon making a play for CBS?
  • (No, I have no inside knowledge. Just reading opportunistic tea leaves, perhaps poorly, given CBS's troubles and that the Redstone settlement that precludes an immediate tie-up with Viacom.)

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.

1 hour ago - Health

Student's death renews calls for schools to stock opioid overdose drug

Photo: Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Connecticut student's death has renewed calls for schools to stock and administer naloxone, a drug that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Why it matters: U.S. drug overdose fatalities reached six figures in a 12-month period for the first time in November, and synthetic or natural opioids were the cause of a majority of the overdoses.