Oy, yesterday was a long week. Here's a look at just some of what happened.
Today's Login is 1,297 words, a 5-minute read.
Photo: Mike Cohen/Getty Images for the New York Times
IBM surprised many on Thursday announcing that CEO Ginni Rometty would step down as CEO, to be replaced in April by cloud chief Arvind Krishna.
Why it matters: Though some had expected IBM might make a change in the next year, the timing jolted many inside and outside of the company, with Rometty having just recently held court in Davos, unveiling a new call for targeted AI regulation.
Driving the news:
Flashback: During Rometty's tenure, IBM forged close ties with the Trump administration, acquired 65 companies (most notably its $34 billion purchase of Red Hat) and pushed into quantum computing and other areas.
Between the lines: IBM was late to the cloud game and now focuses on helping companies coordinate their technical needs between their own servers and public clouds like those from Microsoft, Google and Amazon.
In an interview last year, Krishna told me that IBM could use the Red Hat deal to make that approach work. Customers, he said, are looking for the flexibility to host their own software one day, move that same setup to a cloud provider the next and still have the flexibility to change cloud providers down the road.
But even in that area, IBM faces competition from Dell and Google, among others, per Gartner's Craig Lowery. "If anyone can do it, they have the potential and I think this step shows that they are serious," Lowery said.
Reactions: Rometty shared the news with about 300 of IBM's top executives from around the world at the company's senior leadership meeting, and received a standing ovation.
Investors seemed fine with the moves, sending shares up more than 4% in after-hours trading.
What's next: IBM needs to make the Red Hat deal pay off, Lowery said. "The market has been very clear in telling IBM their cloud strategy is not up to snuff."
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
Google brought a slew of D.C. policy experts to its Mountain View, California, headquarters this week for a summit, people familiar with the event told Axios' Margaret Harding McGill. The move comes as the tech company seeks to deal with increased scrutiny from Washington.
Why it matters: Google is in the midst of reconfiguring its approach to a newly aggressive Washington, and it cut its lobbying budget last year. With this event, the company aims to make sure D.C. influencers from across the ideological spectrum understand its products better.
Details: Roughly 50 people from groups ranging from Public Knowledge to Americans for Prosperity are attending an event that Google, according to an invite obtained by Axios, is billing as the first in a "series of quarterly policy and product summits."
Other attendees include former FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Americans for Tax Reform's Katie McAuliffe, the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Patrick Hedger, and Debra Berlyn, executive director of the Project to Get Older Adults onLine (Project GOAL), according to a list of participants.
Between the lines: It's common for companies such as Google to host gatherings of policy experts. Outside voices can be critical in shaping federal policymakers' views, so in an era of growing mistrust of Silicon Valley, companies like Google may find indirect influence more effective than direct lobbying.
What they're saying: "We've long engaged with organizations from across the political spectrum that focus on technology issues," a Google spokesperson said. "We're always glad to have the opportunity to host people at our headquarters to explain our products and the work we do to innovate."
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Facebook said Thursday it will take further steps to ensure its social network is home to accurate information about the fast-spreading coronavirus.
Driving the news: Facebook announced late Thursday it is removing more types of false information about the disease and adding modules with accurate information from the WHO within its news feed.
Meanwhile: Google and Twitter are also taking steps to promote verified information.
Go deeper: What's happening with the coronavirus
Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images
Amazon's market capitalization rose above $1 trillion in after-hours trading on Thursday after it posted earnings and revenue that exceeded analysts' expectations, as Axios' Scott Rosenberg and Sara Fischer report.
Why it matters: Wall Street has wondered whether Amazon's huge investments in one-day delivery and cloud services would depress its financial performance. This quarter, at least, gave investors a positive surprise.
By the numbers: Amazon reported per-share earnings of $6.47, well ahead of the FactSet consensus estimate of $4.04. Revenue was $87.44 billion, compared with expectations of around $86 billion.
In addition, Amazon announced it now has 150 million Amazon Prime subscribers.
On the advertising front, Amazon reported that its "other" category, which is mostly made up of advertising revenue, was up 41% year-over-year to over $4.7 billion.
Did you know about the bunnies that used to burrow beneath the Berlin Wall? Me neither, but now we all do.