Business & Finance

Fortune June 1, 2018

FORTUNE covers the entire field of business, including specific companies and business trends, tech innovation prominent business leaders, and new ideas shaping the global marketplace. FORTUNE is particularly well known for its exceptionally reliable annual rankings of companies. FORTUNE furthers understanding of the economy, provides implementable business strategy, and gives you the practical knowledge you need to maximize your own success. Fortune currently publishes 3 double issues. Each count as two of 12 issues in an annual subscription.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
extreme measures

EVERY YEAR, FORTUNE PRESIDENT Alan Murray sends out a CEO survey to the leaders of the Fortune 500 on where they think the economy is headed, where they see the biggest risks in the coming months, and more. (You can see the results on page 17.) But this year I’m struck by one stat in particular: 63%. That, believe it or not, is the share of CEO respondents who believe that Facebook “needs more oversight.” Given how most C-suite types feel about regulation, the percentage is quite telling—at least about how dramatically the conversation about the world’s most dominant social network has changed over the course of the last year. Fortune’s Michal Lev-Ram spent weeks with the company’s top content cops—who will hire upwards of 10,000 people this year to help…

3 min.
solving a wireless merger mystery

TRADE EVEN AFTER MERGER TALKS between T-Mobile and Sprint broke down last November, T-Mobile CEO John Legere never gave up hope. Combining his third-ranked wireless carrier with fourth-ranked Sprint could potentially unleash cost savings worth tens of billions of dollars and create a company with the heft to truly take on market leaders AT&T and Verizon, Legere believed. But it wasn’t until a few months later that a leaked White House document about the next generation of wireless networks known as 5G gave Legere a new opening to restart deal talks. The product of a National Security Council staffer’s worries that China would surpass the U.S. in developing 5G technologies, the paper proposed creating a government-built network dubbed “The Eisenhower National Highway System for the Information Age.” Legere had no interest in a…

1 min.
ford’s car escape

AUTO BLAME CHANGING TASTES and the perceived safety of SUVs for why Ford’s thousands of U.S. dealerships will soon be nearly devoid of new sedans and hatchbacks. The Mustang and an upcoming sedan-turned-crossover called the Focus Active will be the sole survivors. The last Ford Focus, in its current iteration, rolled off the assembly line May 4. Production of the Ford Taurus will end in March 2019; the Fiesta will be gone by May 2019. And the recently refreshed Fusion will remain only a few more years, Ford’s U.S. sales chief Mark LaNeve said. The upshot: In two years, nearly 90% of Ford vehicles sold in North America will be trucks, sport utilities, or commercial vehicles. “I really don’t see a downside,” says former Ford, GM, and Chrysler executive Bob Lutz. “[Sedans] can be…

1 min.
nearing a historic high point for a cannabis-based drug

BARRING AN unexpected setback, GW Pharmaceuticals is headed for a milestone in marijuana history by June 27—the first Food and Drug Administration approval for a prescription cannabisderived treatment. A panel of expert FDA advisers gave the medicine, Epidiolex (made from canna-bidiol or CBD, not THC, the part of marijuana that produces a high), a unanimous recommendation in April to treat the devastating, rare childhood epileptic diseases Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. An FDA approval could open the flood-gates for cannabis-based drug R&D. CARS: COURTESY OF FORD; EPIDIOLEX: AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK…

1 min.
barbie’s diversity dance

CULTURE A DOLL OF FRIDA KAHLO, released this spring as part of Barbie’s Inspiring Women line, should have been an occasion to celebrate for fans of the 20th-century Mexican artist. Instead the doll’s maker, Mattel, received scorn for depicting Kahlo with light eyes and omitting her wheelchair and the unibrow found in her self-portraits. But other recent non-Caucasian Barbies based on real-life role models, including the U.S. Olympians Ibtihaj Muhammad (wearing a hijab) and Chloe Kim, have been much better received. Lately Barbie’s sales have been bright for embattled Mattel, which is on its fourth CEO in six years and had posted sales declines every year since 2013. Sales of the dolls were up 24% in the first quarter of 2018, after the key holiday season. And diversity, whether in skin tone or body…

1 min.
walmart’s world just got a little smaller

WALMART INVESTORS didn’t love its recent megadeal for Indian e-commerce leader Flipkart. But they may need to steel themselves for more upheaval in the retail giant’s international business. Shares sank 4% on the news that the world’s largest retailer was investing $16 billion for a majority stake in Flipkart, its biggest deal ever, to instantly become a major player in one of the most promising and fast-growing digital markets. The move came just days after Walmart announced it was selling its Asda grocery business in the U.K. to Sainsbury’s. It showed how Walmart, which for years seemed intent on conquering the world, is concentrating its bets on a few countries where it sees the most potential. International sales growth at Walmart has cooled in recent years, with some markets like Japan and Brazil…