Cybersecurity is emerging as a hot topic for 2023. Not that it wasn’t in 2022. Indeed, cyber has been a loud and persistent background noise in business for years. But two things are turning up the volume: First, the escalation of U.S. and European military aid to Ukraine, which increases the risk that Russia turns to cyberattacks in response. And second, new SEC rules out this spring, that will place enhanced reporting requirements on companies.
Diligent CEO Brian Stafford, whose platform provides information to 750,000 directors and executives, told me yesterday that the cyber rules, which not only require rapid reporting of breaches but also call for reports on board oversight and expertise, have the potential “to have a bigger impact on board composition and training than ESG.” Stafford says the rules are part of a broader trend that is leading to a remake of corporate boards:
“The last decade of board members were former CEOs and CFOs. What we are seeing now is boards looking for way more expertise in different areas, to provide oversight. Most boards don’t have a former CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) on their board. They have become well-versed in cyber issues, but they don’t have specific expertise. Now, they are moving from generic CEOs to a group of individuals offering targeted expertise. It’s not talked about enough, and it’s going to become a growing theme.”
Separately, there’s good news for companies struggling to build cyber and other tech expertise: tech talent is becoming easier to find, thanks to increased layoffs. Fortune’s Michal Lev-Ram looks at the trend for a story in the February/March issue of the magazine that you can read online this morning here.
Other news below.
Hindenburg Research’s report on Adani Group continues to hammer Gautam Adani’s conglomerate, with shares falling as much as 10% in India today. Some group companies, such as Adani Green Energy and Adani Transmission, fell by around 20%. Adani Group denies the short-seller’s fraud allegations, calling them “malicious” and “baseless”; Hindenburg says it “would welcome” the lawsuit Adani has been threatening. (Bonus read: Bill Ackman finds Hindenburg’s report “highly credible.”) Financial Times
Elliott and Salesforce
Elliott Management Group is reportedly about to nominate a slate of directors at Salesforce, in which the activist investor recently made a substantial investment. The Journal reports that the two sides may play nice to avoid a major proxy fight—or not. Wall Street Journal
British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has pledged to push ahead with tax hikes, saying: “The best tax cut right now is a cut in inflation.” He also insisted that the U.K. must have “nothing less than the most competitive tax regime of any major country.” The country’s inflation rate ran at over 10% last month. CNBC
AROUND THE WATERCOOLER
Chip glut batters semiconductor industry as Intel shares lose almost all their 2023 gains after dismal earnings, by Nicholas Gordon
Ritchie Torres went from crypto ‘newbie’ to key ally in Washington. Now he could shape the industry’s post-FTX future, by Leo Schwartz
Jeff Bezos’s advice for bosses who are leading meetings: Talk last, by Prarthana Prakash
Hasbro to cut 1,000 jobs as the pandemic-era toy-buying boom cools now that kids are back in school, by Bloomberg
Rupert Murdoch’s HarperCollins is heading for mediation with striking employees seeking a starting salary from $45,000, by Associated Press
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.
This is the web version of CEO Daily, a newsletter of must-read insights from Fortune CEO Alan Murray. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.