FirstFT: CBI to be renamed as part of reform, says new boss

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He CBI affected by the crisis will be renamed as part of efforts to show it has reformed its toxic work culture after weeks of allegations of rape, sexual harassment and bullying, the new head of the UK business lobby group has said.

Rain Newton-Smith said the rebranding would be necessary as part of a promised “root and branch” reform of the organization that has seen more than 50 leading members cut or suspend ties, raising serious questions about its financial future. .

“Personally, over time, I’m sure we’ll see a new name for the CBI, but that’s just the packaging that goes on the outside. What matters is what we do, what we deliver and our purpose,” he told the Financial Times.

Speaking at the end of her first day in the new job, Newton-Smith did not set out a clear vision for the future of the CBI, but said she was consulting leading members on what a “refocused” organization would look like. Asked if this meant a smaller CBI, Newton-Smith said: “It’s day one, but I think that might as well be where we end up.”

This is what I’ll be looking at today:

  • Results: Amazon, AstraZeneca, Barclays, Carlsberg, Deutsche Bank, Intel, Merck, Sainsbury’s and Unilever are among those reporting. See our full list at Week Ahead Newsletter.

  • Economic data: Gross domestic product flash numbers are expected to show the US economy. expanded modestly in the first quarter. Ireland and Sweden also have preliminary GDP figures, while the UK releases fourth quarter trade data.

Five more main stories

1. Meta reported a return to sales growth after three quarters of declines, sending his shares down 12 percent and paving the way for him to go ahead with a big bet on artificial intelligence. Revenue in the first quarter increased 3 percent over the prior year to $28.6 billion, exceeding analyst expectations.

2. Exclusive: Johnson & Johnson’s Kenvue has been hit by claims that its talcum powder can cause cancer. days before the initial public offering of the spin-off. J&J had attempted to shield Kenvue from most of the talc claims that had already been filed against the group. Read the full story.

3. Struggling US companies are increasingly turning to debt restructurings to avoid costly bankruptcy proceedings, but many borrowers ultimately end up in court anyway. This is why deals often amount to little more than “can kicking” exercises..

4. Xi Jinping has urged Volodymyr Zelenskyy to negotiate with Moscow in the first conversation between the Chinese and Ukrainian leaders since Russia launched its full-scale invasion. Read more about the hour-long phone call in which Xi promised to send a special envoy to seek a “political settlement” of the war.

5. Nearly 40 per cent of 35-44 year olds in the UK have taken out loans to make ends meet in the cost of living crisis, more than double the proportion of people aged 55 and over. A Resolution Foundation study released today also found that those under 35 were forced to turn to family or friends for financial help.

the great read

Bernard Arnault, LVMH's chief executive, speaking at a shareholder meeting this month

Bernard Arnault, chief executive of LVMH, speaking at a shareholder meeting this month © Blondet Eliot/ABACA via Reuters

LVMH this week became the first European company of 500,000 million dollars and the only one ranked among the 10 largest global companies. His rise is a testament to the Amazing rise and resilience of the luxury sectorthat has thrived through financial crises, a pandemic, geopolitical ups and downs, and spiraling inflation.

We are also reading. . .

chart of the day

As beefed-up US and UN sanctions fell on North Korea in the summer of 2017, an employee at a Singaporean subsidiary of a UK-based tobacco giant was planning how to hide ongoing cigarette shipments. to the North Korean embassy. Here’s how British American Tobacco breached sanctions by supplying cigarettes to the pariah state.

Flowchart showing how money was moved from North Korea to pay for British (BAT) cigarettes

Take a break from the news

King Carlos III has often been described as rigid and clumsy-looking. But this has obscured the fact that he dresses exceptionally well. As a wiry, fit young man on his polo team, Charles was, whisper it, even a little hot, writes Robert Armstrong.

Additional contributions by Camilla Bell-Davies and emily goldberg

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