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High business tales: Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Netflix, Schwab


Healthcare editor Zach Tracer here, filling in for Matt Turner while he’s out on parental leave. We have lots of fascinating stories for you this week, as we approach the end of the decade.

But first, a plug: If you want more healthcare news from Business Insider in your inbox, you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Melia Russell has a story this week that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. On its face, it’s an investigation into the still-unexplained death of Erin Valenti, the 33-year-old founder of a tech startup in Utah. But it’s also a story about the pressures and loneliness of leading a business. Chris Valenti, Erin’s youngest brother, told Russell that the family doesn’t want to speculate on what happened.

“When you don’t know everything you start thinking about everything,” he said. Read the full story here.

Turning a page

The end of the year — and of the decade — is a time for reflection. And if a career switch is what you’re looking for, allow us to offer a few suggestions:

  • Inspired by Mayor Pete? Check out our guide to landing a job at a top consulting firm.
  • Cannabis more your speed? Top recruiters gave us their best tips for landing a job in the booming industry.
  • Netflix & apply: Company insiders told us how to get a job at the streaming giant.
  • Finally, here’s a suggestion we hope our resident sneakerhead Matt Turner doesn’t take to heart. Turn your passion for kicks into a $7 million business.

Natural ‘buzz’

Top execs at Goldman Sachs are moving offices: they’re ditching their 41st-floor executive suite with “sweeping views” of New York’s skyline for open desks on the 12th floor, not far from where Goldman’s employees gather for coffee and snacks. Dakin Campbell has the scoop.

It’s part of CEO David Solomon’s plan to get closer to the bank’s employees. Solomon, you’ll recall, moonlights as a DJ.

“There is a natural ‘buzz’ there, and I want our leadership team to be part of it,” Solomon said in a memo announcing the plan. 

Finance and Investing

Meet the Schwab exec in charge of carrying out a $26 billion TD Ameritrade deal that’s an aggressive play for size and cost-cuts

Joe Martinetto is in charge of carrying out the biggest-ever US securities brokerage deal, a process that’s likely to involve job cuts and shuttered branches. Former colleagues describe him as a fair, methodical person who “protected” the firm’s balance sheet during the financial crisis, Rebecca Ungarino reports.

How one expert thinks the war over zero-fee online trading could propel US stocks 26% higher next year — and his best trades for taking advantage

Julian Emanuel of BTIG said another huge year for stocks could be coming as zero-fee online trading encourages investors to move money into equities.

A retiree living at the poverty line explains how he squandered his 401(k) — and shares how today’s generation of young professionals can avoid his fate

John Morrow says he lives off of a small pension and Social Security income amounting to about $23,000 before taxes, and he wants his story to serve as a cautionary tale.

A manager of the No. 1 stock fund over the past 20 years attributes his success to a contrarian approach. He shares his 3 most surprising calls, including why he prefers Samsung to Apple.

Jason Subotky of Yacktman Asset Management said he and his partners succeed by being willing to ignore what everyone else thinks.

Tech, Media, Telecoms

Here are 19 of the most important executives leading Microsoft’s cloud business as it takes on Amazon Web Services

Microsoft Azure has long been considered the No. 2 cloud provider versus dominant Amazon Web Services, but that perception has started to change.

Palantir grabbed Project Maven defense contract after Google left the program: sources

The project will train artificial intelligence to analyze aerial drone footage to identify people and objects.

5 top venture capital firms reveal their media predictions for 2020 and key trends they’re keeping a close eye on

They predicted a strong market for subscription-based services even as more streaming players crowd the market, and they said that text-based advertising would thrive as marketers look for an alternative to Facebook.

How Jeff Bezos’ leadership style propelled him to become one of the richest men in the world — and what you can learn from it

Courage and curiosity — along with a few quirky rules — are the hallmarks of Bezos’ leadership style.

The tech chief at the best hospital in the US says it chose to work with Google because of its ‘superiority of technology’

Mayo Clinic Chief Information Officer Cris Ross said the health system decided to work with Google because of the “superiority of technology” the tech giant has.

Healthcare, Retail, Transportation

The inside story of how McDonald’s ex-CEO’s push to modernize the chain left black franchisees behind

Black McDonald’s franchisees say that disparities between themselves and their white counterparts grew significantly during Steve Easterbrook’s time as McDonald’s CEO from 2015 to November. 

The ‘Soulcycle’ of fertility clinics just got a $10 million boost from investors led by Alphabet’s venture arm

Kindbody is looking to to sell its services to employers, so that they can offer fertility benefits to their workers.

Taco Bell’s ex-CEO pulled Chipotle out of its massive downwards spiral — and executives say it’s just the beginning of the chain’s comeback

Chipotle has rolled out delivery, a loyalty program, and drive-thru “Chipotlanes,” and it’s even testing a new queso. 

Frat bros, sketchy accounting, and a regional auditor: The short-seller who predicted $1 billion Celadon’s bankruptcy two years ago reveals what went wrong at the trucking giant

The biggest bankruptcy in truckload history was unsurprising to a small Louisiana-based hedge fund.

We got a tour of UnitedHealth’s flashy new cancer center, and it reveals how the healthcare giant is taking a new approach to reshape the health system and lower costs

The cancer center is an early sign of the specialty healthcare work that UnitedHealth’s Optum business plans to grow into. More centers are in the works, focused on specialties like orthopedics, lung function, and allergies.

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