Verizon’s New CEO; Trump Backs Out Of G7 Deal; Genworth Deal Approved

The Water Coolest

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Lowell McAdam plans to step aside as CEO of Verizon on August 1st. His replacement, whose name screams “Patagonia Fall ’18 outerwear collection,” will be Hans Vestberg. Vestberg spent over 20 years at Ericsson … which apparently still exists.

John Stratton, the President of Global Operations, and heir apparent, as well as Verizon’s top media exec, Tim Armstrong, were overlooked for the role. We’re not saying Vestberg knows whose d*ck you gotta suck around here to get a job, but we’re not, not saying that either.

The well-coiffed Swede takes over at a critical time. Lines between media and communications firms continue to blur and the market leader is losing customers to cheaper alternatives (think: Cricket Wireless and “my parent’s family plan”). Plus, loose cannon John Legere’s T-Mobile plans to merge with Sprint, thus creating one incredibly mediocre competitor.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “So let me get this straight: AT&T is out here trying to buy Time Warner and Verizon is just hoping to get by with Yahoo and AOL? Good f*cking luck.”



Mere hours after the G7 wrapped in Canada, President Trump instructed his proxies to refrain from signing a “communique” (French for “incredibly broad agreement with little to no teeth”), that covers trade, economic growth, national security, and sustainability.

France and Germany took to the media to express their displeasure with The Donald’s change of heart, with the German foreign minister saying “We have seen this with the climate agreement or the Iran deal. In a matter of seconds, you can destroy trust with 280 Twitter characters.” Before the U-turn, all 7 members of the summit had reportedly agreed to the terms of the agreement.

With a potential trade war looming, a series of tariffs between frenemies were the focus of this weekend’s meetings. President Trump cited a 270% tariff on dairy imposed by Canada, as well as Justin Trudeau “being soft as baby sh*t,” (or something like that) for his refusal to sign the communique.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “This is precisely why I propose a “no-takesy-backseys” clause in all international trade documents.”



On Friday the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFI) approved its first  Chinese-American deal of 2018, allowing the purchase of Genworth Financial, by the Chinese company Oceanwide. Not to be confused with everyone’s favorite cranberry producer.

The committee has blocked numerous mergers, most notably a colossal Qualcomm-Broadcom deal. CFI also played a role in the ongoing ZTE debacle.

The Genworth deal was first announced in 2016 but was subject to a full (and we do mean full) cavity search, similar to other international mergers. Genworth will be getting a $1.1B cash infusion as part of the $2.7B deal.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “And so it begins.




  • Dennis Rodman plans to attend the North Korea summit. His trip will be sponsored by Potcoin, a cryptocurrency used to buy marijuana. God bless America.
  • SpaceX is planning a massive expansion of its rocket facilities at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, because why wouldn’t we want to let our generation’s Tony Stark gain direct access to government facilities? 
  • And today in completely useless technology spending, IBM has built a computer that can perform 200,000 trillion calculations per second. The Justify of supercomputers is the world’s fastest, reclaiming the crown from China. Yet my Excel #REFs if I try to F9 more than 100 vlookups at a time.
  • RBC’s investment banking chief, Blair Fleming, will step down after a consensual relationship was discovered with a subordinate. Fleming broke the cardinal rule of corporate America: don’t sh*t where you eat.
  • Breach. Rinse. Repeat. Facebook is facing allegations that it allowed select, reputable advertising partners (read: Ashley Madison) to access user data even after they were “cut off.”
  • US indices were mixed yesterday:
    • DOW: +0.30%
    • S&P 500: +0.31%
    • NASDAQ: +0.14%


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.