NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tesla’s electrifying rise claimed its biggest victim yet. During morning trading on Wednesday, shares in the Silicon Valley upstart rose some 5% to briefly hit a market value of $210 billion, overtaking Toyota Motor as the world’s largest carmaker by market worth. Undeserved as that may be, it shifts Chief Executive Elon Musk’s performance bonus into overdrive. | Video
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Elon Musk is making Tesla’s board more sustainable. On Thursday the electric-car maker unveiled Hiromichi Mizuno as its newest director. Until last month he was the investment chief of Japan’s $1.5 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest. That experience alone will be valuable to Tesla. But it’s the clout that Mizuno developed and wielded in environmental, social and governance issues during his five-year stint at GPIF that will serve the manufacturer and its shareholders best.
NEW YORK/HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Breakingviews columnists check in from home in New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong to discuss disappearing Silicon Valley perks like free meals and booze, office activism at tech firms, the mystery of China’s 20 million lost mobile-phone subscribers and an ascendant TikTok.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Elon Musk has a chance to prove to skeptics that he has finally wrapped his head around the basics of running a carmaker. Tesla’s boss seems to have ironed out most of the production problems that have plagued the electric-car maker for much of the past three years, if first-quarter sales numbers unveiled on Thursday are anything to go by. He has also amassed a decent stash of cash, which should be enough for Tesla to go almost a year without revenue before running out of juice. That’s better than either Ford or General Motors can manage. But Musk can only pull that off if he has finally mastered how to keep costs under control.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Handwashing has never been so popular. It’s one of the main ways to avoid catching Covid-19, which is why Unilever and the UK government on Thursday committed soap, bleach and 100 million pounds to educate 1 billion people about it. Celebrities like Gloria Gaynor and Hugh Jackman have posted videos encouraging viewers to get scrubbing, and turn the tap off when they’re done. It might look like an invitation to use a precious natural asset – but it could also bump shortages, especially in the developing world, up the agenda.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The rapid economic slowdown caused by the spread of Covid-19 has brought to the fore the prospect of companies getting help from taxpayers. Which firms to target and what strings to attach will be the big questions. Plus: Pepsi, credit cards and cancer drugs drive virus-era M&A.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - A major rift between Saudi Arabia and Russia has sent oil prices plummeting just as the Covid-19 outbreak saps demand. The fallout is pummeling U.S. shale producers and calling traditional energy-security concepts into question. Plus, market fallout in Japan, China and India.
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The British fossil-fuel giant and the largest U.S. airline have each pledged to effectively stop emitting carbon over time. The ambition is encouraging and puts them ahead of most rivals. But both fall short on all-important details. There’s plenty of runway to do better.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Another day, another major company unveils vague plans to reduce its carbon emissions. Days after BP set out goals to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, Delta Air Lines flew in on Valentine’s Day with its own green program. Chief Executive Ed Bastian is making all the right noises in his 10-year, $1 billion plan to make the airline carbon neutral. But its new ambitions are, for now, just grand pledges that lack important detail and accountability.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Activist Elliott is targeting Masayoshi Son’s firm for poor governance and performance. SoftBank could appease the hedge fund by selling investments to finance buybacks. That could include Sprint, whose deal with T-Mobile US just got the nod. Plus: the race for the White House.