Cindy McCain, Huawei CFO, Infant Formula: Broadsheet May 10

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Cindy McCain gives her first lengthy interview since the death of her husband, infant formula is a new startup frontier, and an energy CEO outduels her massive rival. Have a wonderful weekend and, to those of you celebrating, a happy Mothers’ Day!


[bs_bullet_primary] Slaying giants. A Goliath slayer has emerged from the bidding war over Anadarko Petroleum, and it’s Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub.

When Chevron on Thursday said it would bow out of the battle for Anadarko, it effectively surrendered to Occidental. Later in the day, Anadarko announced it would terminate its earlier merger agreement with Chevron in favor of Occidental’s offer.

Occidental’s planned takeover of Anadarko is no doubt an underdog win, with David-sized Occidental defeating a giant in Chevron. And in this storyline, there’s little doubt who’s operating the slingshot.

“Hollub is ripping up the playbook and running an all-out offense on the Anadarko board to favor her bid,” is how one analyst characterized her maneuvering earlier this week.

According to Bloomberg, three “bold and creative moves” by Hollub put Occidental into the deal’s “pole position.”

  1. She convinced Warren Buffett to invest $10 billion in Occidental to help fund the deal, flying to Omaha to appeal to the famed investor in person.
  2. She negotiated the sale of Anadarko’s African unit to France’s Total for nearly $9 billion to help pay down debt.
  3. She increased the cash portion of Occidental’s offer so the deal could sidestep a shareholder vote.

The FT reports that when she was named CEO in 2015, Hollub, No. 28 on Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women list, was considered a capable–but “unexciting”–set of insider hands; she’s worked for Occidental since 1982. But the nature of Occidental’s victory over Chevron–unexpected, to say the least–reflects the shape Hollub’s CEO tenure is now taking.

Even before the Anadarko bidding picked up steam, Hollub had set herself apart by declaring that Occidental would seek to make itself “carbon neutral;” most of the wider industry, meanwhile, has danced around the issue of climate change.

Hollub will have to answer for the Anadarko deal before skeptical shareholders at Occidental’s annual meeting today, but she’ll go into the gathering with momentum, having already outdueled a rival five times her firm’s size. [ceo_attribution author=”Claire Zillman” email=”” twitter=”clairezillman”]


[bs_bullet_primary] Seeking a stay. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou will seek a stay on extradition proceedings based on comments by President Trump; he said that the charges could be dropped if doing so would help trade talks with China. Meng’s lawyers say the remarks show the case is politically motivated. [bs_link link=”” source=”Guardian”]

[bs_bullet_primary] The future of formula. Silicon Valley has already come for the breast pump. Is formula next? Bobbie is one of a crop of startups, emboldened by the success of startups like Willow and Elvie, working on infant formula with better ingredients and, in this case, a subscription service. Bobbie, founded by Laura Modi and Sarah Hardy, launches on Mothers’ Day. [bs_link link=”” source=”Fortune”]

[bs_bullet_primary] Covers and podcasts. Sen. Elizabeth Warren gets the Time magazine cover treatment, with her tagline, “I have a plan for that.” “I didn’t look in the mirror as a kid and think, Hey, there’s the next President of the United States,” she says. “But I know why I’m here. I have ideas for how we bring systemic change to this country. And we’re running out of time.” And during an appearance on Pod Save America, Stacey Abrams gave an unambiguous answer to the question of whether she’s considering running for president: “Yes.”

[bs_bullet_primary] Cindy speaks out. In her first lengthy interview since the death of her husband, Sen. John McCain, Cindy McCain shares what her life is like without him. “One thing he taught me, among so many things, was the importance of getting back up, the importance of keeping doing what you’ve been doing. I’ve been doing these things all along. I think the reason people are noticing now is because he’s gone,” she says. [bs_link link=”″ source=”Washington Post”]

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: The Recording Academy’s appointment of Deborah Dugan as president and CEO is official, making her the first woman to oversee the Grammy Awards. Blackstone Group hired Tanya Barnes, former managing director at Goldman Sachs, to lead a new impact investing strategy.


[bs_bullet_primary] Team Wynn. While Wynn Resorts battled with regulators to open in Massachusetts, Elaine Wynn sat and listened to the litany of sexual harassment allegations against her ex-husband, Steve Wynn. But Wynn hasn’t sold her shares or attempted to get out of the business she co-founded. “I’m here because I am team Wynn,” she says. [bs_link link=”” source=”Boston Globe”]

[bs_bullet_primary] SI firsts. After Halima Aden’s milestone as the first woman in a hijab and burkini to pose in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (read Kristen’s take here), the magazine has a few other firsts. (Think of that what you will!) The U.S. Women’s National Team’s Megan Rapinoe is the first openly gay woman to pose for the issue, and Tyra Banks on the cover is among the oldest.

[bs_bullet_primary] Stalled #MeToo momentum. The #MeToo movement in India has hit some setbacks. The court examining sexual harassment allegations against India’s chief justice Ranjan Gogoi said it found “no substance” to the claims and kept its report secret; protestors outside the Supreme Court were detained by police. [bs_link link=”” source=”Washington Post”]

[bs_bullet_primary] Billion-dollar razors. Men’s shaving brand Harry’s–which has recently ramped up its efforts in women’s shaving with the brand Flamingo–was acquired by Edgewell Personal Care, of Schick razors, for $1.37 billion. It’s more than the $1 billion 2016 Unilever acquisition of Dollar Shave Club. [bs_link link=”″ source=”Wall Street Journal”]

Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe. Share it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


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[bs-quote link=”” author =”Romance author Danielle Steel, in a ‘Glamour’ profile, on how she’s written 179 books”]Sometimes I’ll finish a book in the morning, and by the end of the day, I’ve started another project.[/bs-quote]