DraftKings fills two new board seats

BANKING

Wells Fargo CEO apologizes for saying pool of Black executive talent was shallow

Wells Fargo & Co.’s chief executive officer apologized after comments he made about struggling to find experienced Black executives created a firestorm on social media. “I apologize for making an insensitive comment reflecting my own unconscious bias,” Charles Scharf said in a statement Wednesday. “There are many talented diverse individuals working at Wells Fargo and throughout the financial services industry and I never meant to imply otherwise.” In a June memo that set new diversity targets and tied executive pay to improving those metrics, Scharf cautioned that change wouldn’t happen right away because of the industry’s failure to build a strong pipeline of minority candidates. “While it might sound like an excuse, the unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from with this specific experience as our industry does not have enough diversity in most senior roles,” Scharf said in the June memo. Scharf exasperated some Black employees this summer when he made similar comments in a virtual meeting, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing two people who attended. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TECHNOLOGY

Cisco Systems pledges to increase number of Black employees, leaders

Cisco Systems Inc. pledged to increase the number of Black employees and leaders, adding its name to a list of technology companies promising to try to fix the lack of diversity in their workforces. The biggest maker of networking equipment said its goal is to increase the company’s workforce of Black people by 25 percent by 2023 in the entry-level to manager levels. In the director to vice president ranks, the San Jose, Calif.-based company said Wednesday that it wants to raise black representation by 75 percent. Overall, Cisco pledged to create pay parity and promotion fairness. Silicon Valley companies are under pressure to match their in-house actions to the proclamations of support they made in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May, an event that energized the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted a nationwide focus on racial inequity. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Rivals Hollywood Reporter and Variety come together

Hollywood’s longtime trade-publication rivals are uniting under one roof. Penske Media Corp., which owns Variety and Rolling Stone, will run the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and Vibe in a joint venture with their owner, MRC, Variety reported Wednesday. Under the deal, whose terms weren’t disclosed, Penske and MRC will establish an entity called PMRC through which Penske will handle the daily operations of the entertainment and music brands. In another PMRC joint venture, MRC will use its production assets, including Dick Clark Productions, to develop new content based on PMRC stories and properties. Variety and the Hollywood Reporter have faced off covering the entertainment business for decades. Variety got its start in New York in 1905 and launched a daily West Coast edition in 1933. The Hollywood Reporter was founded in 1930. Both publications are now weekly magazines in print and operate extensively online. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

BANKING

Citigroup to spend $1 billion to close racial wealth gap

Citigroup Inc. will spend $1 billion over the next three years on efforts to help close the racial wealth gap as it seeks to become an “antiracist institution.” More than half of the funds will go toward supporting homeownership for people of color and affordable housing by minority developers, Citigroup said in a statement Wednesday. The bank also earmarked $350 million for procurement opportunities for Black-owned suppliers. Citigroup research found that if the United States could instantly end the most severe forms of economic discrimination against Black people, it could give a $5 trillion boost to gross domestic product over the next five years. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

CLIMATE CHANGE

Maker of Cheerios plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in a decade

American food giant General Mills said it plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in the next decade, aiming to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The maker of Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, and Annie’s will seek to reach the goal through improved agricultural practices, reduced packaging, and halving food loss and waste by 2030. The company’s annual emissions in 2019 stood at 15.3 million metric tons, about a 1.3 percent decline from 2018. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TOURISM

Global travel not expected to recover for at least 2 1/2 years

The global tourism industry’s recovery from the pandemic could take 2 1/2 to four years, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Direct tourism jobs at risk number 100 million to 120 million, with a projected loss of international visitors’ spending of$910 billion to $1.2 trillion, Alessandra Priante, a director at the organization, told a European Parliament hearing on Wednesday in Brussels. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TOYS

Stufffed animals, not computer screens, comfort during the pandemic

Board games, stuffed animals, playsets, and dolls round out this year’s top toys. One thing largely absent: screens. Analog is making a comeback as children and parents overloaded with screen time during the pandemic seek a break. The events of 2020 are shaping the types of toys that kids and parents are looking for, according to Toy Insider, an industry publication that predicts holiday trends. Besides a drop in screen-based toys, social responsibility is emerging as a theme amid protests over racial justice and a greater focus on climate change. Affordable items are also in favor as some parents face financial hardship. There are timeless elements in this year’s top toys. Pokemon, Star Wars, Blue’s Clues, and Super Mario all make appearances, partly due to a gaping hole left by the lack of new children’s movies with Hollywood studios still roiled by the virus. Toy makers are under increased pressure to make dolls inclusive and reflective of their user. Zoe, a top 20 pick made by Healthy Roots Dolls, sports a shirt that reads “my black is beautiful” and teaches children to style curly and wavy hair. The Blippi Recycling Truck, aimed at 3- to 4-year-old budding environmentalists, comes equipped with bins and pretend trash, while the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen lets kids prepare their own farm-to-table meals. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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