The Wall Street Journal this morning calls Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's "abrupt surrender ... a stunning fall for one of the most celebrated careers in Silicon Valley": "Tech entrepreneurs idolized the pugnacious Mr. Kalanick for snubbing convention and prioritizing winning at all costs, and investors hailed him as the model for a founder."
Kalanick keeps his board seat, retains control of a majority of Uber's voting shares, and had the pleasure of seeing a critic, venture capitalist Bill Gurley, leave the board.
But this was a very personal rejection of a corporate culture that was long viewed as aggressive and unrestrained, then harshly scrutinized amid complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination.
I just finished the well-timed new book by Fortune's Adam Lashinsky, "Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination."
My big takeaway ... The fiasco at Uber is a product of the same phenomenon we're seeing in the Trump West Wing: Corporate cultures, whether healthy or sick, flow from the top — and are set in the organization's earliest days.
A few memorable passages:
Be smart: The values you project, whether they're intentional or not, will quickly pollinate through your organization. Know what they are, and make sure they're what you want.
In George Will's column today in the WashPost ("Plunge forward, or fall back"), he uses the Amazon-stoked trepidation in the grocery industry as a launching pad for a worthy point amid all the collisions and disruptions that are facing our society, our politics and our businesses:
"In the accelerated churning of today's capitalism, changing tastes and expanding choices destroy some jobs and create others, with net gains in price and quality. But disruption is never restful, and the United States now faces a decision unique in its history: Is it tired — tired of the turmoil of creative destruction? If so, it had better be ready to do without creativity. And ready to stop being what it has always been: restless."
AP's Jonathan Lemire points out that with last evening's "Make America Great Again Rally" in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump has now held five rallies in his first five months in office:
"Trump, no stranger to victory laps, turned his visit ... into a celebration of his resilience despite the cloud of investigations that has enveloped his administration and sent his poll numbers tumbling."
The N.Y. Times' Maggie Haberman writes that the hour-plus speech turned into "a venting session for a pent-up president who has stewed and brooded from inside the gilded cage of the White House ... an epic version of the fact-challenged, meandering and, even for his detractors, mesmerizing speeches he gave during his upstart presidential campaign."
From the remarks, per Axios' David Lawler:
Democrats' embarrassing special-election loss in Georgia, after the vocal left fanned unrealistic expectations, provokes a wave of bitter post-gaming that targets House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. It's part of a generational argument that's also driving the party's 2020 conversation:
These four points — from a forthcoming TIME cover story by David Von Drehle — set the narrative for special counsel Robert Mueller as he takes the national stage:
Hollywood Reporter's 100 Most Powerful People in Entertainment, edited by Alison Brower:
"THR 100 essentially is a greenlight list: who has the authority to take projects from a no to a yes or the talent and track record to make what he or she wants. There are objective factors, like the size of an executive's empire (owning it helps, a la Shari Redstone), access to vast sums of money (both Megan Ellison and David Ellison) or the number of series a showrunner has on the air and their ratings (congrats, Ryan Murphy).
"Then there's the subjective element of heat around town: 'juice,' for lack of a better word. The Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox is far more profitable than Netflix, but Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos rank higher because there's no company more the subject of Hollywood fascination and envy these days than theirs. Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman probably will end up grossing less worldwide than F. Gary Gray's The Fate of the Furious, but the fact that Jenkins broke ground for female directors lands her (and not him) on the list."
The top 5: