The daily business briefing: August 31, 2023

CNN hires former Times CEO Mark Thompson to lead turnaround, UBS says it's cutting 3,000 Swiss jobs after Credit Suisse purchase swells workforce, and more

CNN gets a new boss
(Image credit: Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

1. CNN hires ex-Times CEO Mark Thompson

CNN is hiring former New York Times CEO Mark Thompson as the new chair and editor-in-chief of CNN Worldwide, Warner Bros. Discovery announced Wednesday. Thompson, who ran BBC from 2004 to 2012 before joining the Times, steps in to take over after Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav fired Chris Licht as CNN president after just 13 months on the job. CNN is looking to Thompson, who led digital transformations at BBC and the Times, to turn around a cable news giant plagued by falling ratings and sagging morale. Dean Baquet, a former Times executive editor, said what makes Thompson "the perfect hire" is that he "understands what things are going to have to change."

The Hill The New York Times

2. UBS to cut 3,000 jobs in Switzerland after merger swells staff

UBS Group said Thursday it will cut 3,000 jobs in Switzerland as it works to shed $10 billion in costs following the Swiss bank's purchase of rival Credit Suisse. It would be impossible to save that much "without going through people and headcount," CEO Sergio Ermotti told Bloomberg TV. The announcement gave the first firm number on job losses related to the merger, which swelled UBS's workforce by 45,000 to nearly 120,000, according to Bloomberg. The redundancies will start no earlier than late 2024, Ermotti said at a Zurich press conference. Globally, 8,000 Credit Suisse workers have left this year. UBS shares jumped to their highest level since 2008 after the bank announced the cuts and better-than-expected quarterly profit.

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Bloomberg CNBC

3. New York attorney general says no trial needed to show Trump inflated assets

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is suing former President Donald Trump for alleged business fraud, said in a court filing Wednesday that Trump and his family business inflated the value of their assets to get favorable loans and insurance, falsely increasing Trump's net worth by as much as $2.2 billion. "Based on the undisputed evidence, no trial is required for the court to determine that defendants presented grossly and materially inflated asset values," the filing said. Trump's lawyers argued in their own motion that the court should throw out the whole case, now scheduled for trial in October, because a recent appellate court decision appeared to significantly narrow the case due to legal time limits.

The New York Times

4. Stock futures mixed after 4th positive day

U.S. stock futures were mixed early Thursday after a fourth straight day of gains. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were up 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively, at 7 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were down 0.1%. The four-day winning streak has helped Wall Street trim August losses. Weaker-than-expected economic data, including payroll numbers and economic growth forecasts, have fueled hopes inflation will soon be low enough for the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates, boosting stocks. "You want to have this sweet spot where the economy is chugging along, but not too hot where inflation rears its ugly head again," Nadia Lovell, senior U.S. equity strategist at UBS Wealth Management, told The Wall Street Journal.

CNBC The Wall Street Journal

5. Salesforce shares jump after AI-fueled earnings boom

Salesforce shares rose 6% in pre-market trading Thursday after the software company late Wednesday reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and outlook for the full-year. Salesforce said cost cuts more than offset slow business software sales, increasing revenue by 11%. Net profit jumped 19-fold and Salesforce now expects an operating profit margin of 13.3% for the fiscal year, up from a forecast of 11.4% three months ago. The company's push into artificial intelligence fueled the earnings beat. "We are very thirsty to make sure that Salesforce is the No. 1 AI CRM, and we have done a lot organically to do that in the last six months," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told analysts in an earnings call.

The Wall Street Journal CNBC

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.