Exxon's Shakespearean boardroom drama escalates

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In today’s Nightcap: Exxon is in crisis, Anna Wintour inches closer to world domination, and an (honestly) unplanned royals theme.

UNEASY LIES THE HEAD

    The dramatic goings-on at ExxonMobil lately are downright Shakespearean.
    Por décadas, ExxonMobil was an unstoppable giant — a mighty king, if you will — and the envy of the oil industry. But the kingdom is crumbling. Fortinbrasarmies are at the gate.
    For the first time in modern history, Exxon faces a credible challenge from frustrated investors seeking to overthrow its board of directors. Led by a new activist investor firm balled Engine No. 1, the group is demanding Exxon get its house in order. Specifically, they’re demanding that Exxon:
    • Rein in massive spending ambitions
    • Revamp executive pay
    • Push into clean energy
    Even the Church of England is behind the effort, just to drive the Bard analogy home.
    This is just the latest bad news for Exxon. Once the world’s most valuable public company, Exxon’s market valuation has collapsed by a staggering $ 266 billion since mid-2014. It’s losing money for the first time in decades, and recently got kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average after 92 años.
    CRY HAVOC
    Todavía, Engine No. 1 faces an uphill battle, as CNN BusinessMatt Egan explains. The shareholders own just a small slice of what is still a $ 180 billion company. So the fate of the proxy battle will be up to the Big Three asset managers: Vanguard, State Street and BlackRock (the Cordelia, Regan and Goneril of our now-tortured, mixed-play metaphor), which own nearly one-fifth of Exxon’s outstanding shares.
    The activists do have one big advantage: a deeply dissatisfied shareholder base. And if those frustrated shareholders team up with environmental groups and socially conscious investors, Exxon could be in trouble.

    THE PRINCESS AND THE POD

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have joined the crowded ranks of People Who Have a Podcast, which includes pretty much everyone from Michelle Obama to your uncle Joe who has Opinions about Covid-19. The royals — they’re just like us
    Anyway, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex caused a bit of a stir nearly a year ago when they announced they were stepping back from their roles as senior members of British royal family and becomingfinancially independent.That’s a bit of being born on third base and thinking you hit a triple, but I digress
    The couple is building a media empire.
    • Podcasts: Their new, audio-first production company, Archewell Audio, is now in an exclusive, multi-year partnership with Spotify. The couple will host or produce several shows, including a holiday special that will be released this month.
    • Video: In September, the couple signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix.
    • Voice: Meghan narrated the documentaryElephants” en Disney +. She’s also betting big on a trendy oat-milk-latte startup.
    BIG PICTURE
    The Sussexes are just the latest heavy-hitter celebs to partner with Spotify. The company is aggressively building out its stable of podcasts and positing itself as a destination for prestige audio content. Kim Kardashian West signed an exclusive deal with Spotify in June. Michelle Obama debutedThe Michelle Obama Podcaston Spotify in July. “The Joe Rogan Experience,” one of the most popular podcasts in the world, is now exclusive to Spotify. CNN Business’ Kerry Flynn has more.

    CITA DEL DÍA

    My hope for both the Biden administration and my friends in the business community is this: To build back better — from the pandemic, the economic crisis, and the fracturing of our democracy — we have to put people and the planet first.
    Ryan Gellert, CEO of Patagonia
    CNN Business asked some of America’s leading CEOs what they’d like to see from the new administration and how they think Joe Biden should approach the top job. Their advice ranges from how to implement a carbon tax to how to help struggling businesses recover after the pandemic. Read them all here.

    GREAT SCOTT

    MacKenzie Scott recently gave away more than $ 4 billion to 384 organizations as part of a plan to donate a majority of her fortune.
    Longtime readers know that we here at Nightcap stan this Queen, the world’s 18th-richest person, according to Bloomberg, and very likely the only English major to become a multibillionaire.
    The pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling,” Scott wrote. “Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. mientras tanto, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.
    Indeed, Scott’s own wealth has surged by more than $ 20 billion this year, thanks largely to the tranche of Amazon shares she received in her divorce from Jeff Bezos in 2019. Her latest charitable move comes just four months after she gave away $ 1.7 mil millones. CNN Business’ Jazmin Goodwin has more.

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