Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

Air quality alerts issued as California fires threaten more sequoias

The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest, near California Hot Springs, on Tuesday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two wildfires were threatening California's sequoia trees over overnight, hours after authorities issued fresh evacuation orders and warnings, along with air quality alerts on Wednesday.

The big picture: Officials in the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley issued air quality alerts as smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires resulted in hazy, "ash-filled" skies from Fresno to Tulare, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.