Fortune February 2020

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 Operations Corporation
9 €(TVA Incluse)
27 €(TVA Incluse)
6 Numéros

dans ce numéro

4 min
mission possible

A DAY BEFORE THIS ISSUE of the magazine went to press in mid-January, I went to a hipster workspace in Manhattan to hear Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talk about the future. Naturally, he began by talking about the past. When Nadella joined the company as a 25-year-old computer scientist in 1992, Microsoft’s stated purpose as a corporation was to put “a computer on every desk and in every home,” as founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen famously enshrined it. Under Gates’ successor as CEO, Steve Ballmer, the mission statement went through a wordy rewrite—one that seemed to lose both its clarity and its real-world ambition. And not long after Nadella took the reins in 2014, the statement got another revise, one that has stuck until now: Microsoft’s mission is “to empower…

11 min
sundar pichai

“There are a lot of advantages of scale. It allows us to take a long-term view and be very user-focused.” WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE NEW BOSS When did Larry Page and Sergey Brin tell you about the change? PICHAI It was a series of conversations over time. As Google turned 20 last year [in 2018], that was the first time I think they probably started having longer-term conversations. Particularly when Google hit 21 in September, that was a kind of a milestone. They did actually speak about it with me in the context of the company turning 21, like a child ready to be independent. And they did want to play a different role as advisers and founders. Alphabet was formed, and you became CEO of Google, in 2015. Now that you’re running…

4 min
understanding the election as brand marketing

BUSINESS. DISTILLED. WHY DID VIRTUALLY every top pollster and pundit get the 2016 election screamingly wrong? On election eve, the New York Times analytical unit and the PredictWise prediction market aggregator showed Hillary Clinton winning by wide margins. FiveThirtyEight gave her a 71% chance of winning. The Princeton Election Consortium’s Sam Wang put the probability at 93% and said he’d “eat a bug” if Donald Trump won; Wang later ate a cricket on CNN. Even Trump’s staff didn’t think he could capture the White House. A senior campaign staffer told CNN on election night, “It will take a miracle for us to win.” Yet a radically different kind of analysis, entirely overlooked at the time, got it right. This assessment considered the candidates not as politicians or even as people but rather…

2 min
a race for the elusive chinese coffee drinker

THE CHINESE CHAIN Luckin Coffee is staking its future on two bold ideas. First, that a tech-driven retail model can satisfy customers, and second, and more important, that Chinese consumers will actually drink coffee. Last summer, the company listed on Nasdaq, raising over $500 million at a valuation north of $4 billion. With this funding, the company has ramped up its dizzying growth strategy. Founded in 2017, Luckin has already opened more than 3,600 locations in China at a pace that will soon enable it to surpass Starbucks’ 4,100. The strategy has divided analysts: Luckin bulls point toward profits the company has posted on a store level, but pessimists remain wary of the company’s heavy spending on expansion and marketing. “If [their aggressiveness] works out, you’ve hit one over the fence, but…

4 min
investors vs. ceos: the optimism divide

TROUBLE IS BREWING when the owners of a business and the managers who run that business see the world in fundamentally different ways. That’s the uncomfortable situation right now at America’s publicly traded corporations. The owners—investors—see a brilliant future for U.S. companies, bidding their stocks up to record highs. But the managers—CEOs—see a far darker future, as revealed in surveys of CEO sentiment. The contrast is starker than it has been in years, perhaps decades. “Somebody’s wrong,” says investment strategist Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates, “and is going to have to change their plans.” Investors’ ebullience is obvious in the stock market, where dollars do the talking. But the deep pessimism of CEOs is less visible and has gone largely unnoticed. They’re invariably upbeat when speaking to investors, but when CEOs…

2 min
getting 5g up to speed

AFTER YEARS OF HYPE, most Americans will finally be able to use new, superfast 5G mobile networks in 2020—at least if they buy a new phone. Last year, the four major wireless carriers—AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint—started introducing 5G, but most of them added service only in parts of a few dozen cities. And even then, some of those connections were barely faster than existing 4G LTE networks. This year, the push for 5G will accelerate. AT&T and Verizon plan to extend their 5G service nearly nationwide. T-Mobile, which already has broad coverage but with limited speeds, hopes to add faster connections. Meanwhile, Sprint’s fate is tied up in the legal fight over its proposed merger with T-Mobile. If the deal is blocked, Sprint may lack the money to expand its limited…