By Alan Murray and David Meyer
September 28, 2018

Good morning.

I’m at Dreamforce, the tech extravaganza that Salesforce puts on in San Francisco each year, where yesterday I moderated a conversation between two CEOs who come from opposite ends of the retail spectrum. One was Chip Bergh, CEO of 165-year-old Levi Strauss, which sells blue jeans primarily to men; and the other was Jennifer Hyman, CEO of 10-year-old Rent the Runway, which rents fashion entirely to women. The survivor versus the disruptor.

What was striking, however, was how similar they sounded.

First, both are leading the revolt against “fast fashion,” a trend that has people buying ever more clothes at ever lower prices. Bergh and Hyman both made the case for quality, and decried the waste of the fast fashion industry.

And second, both spoke passionately about the importance of CEOs taking a stand on critical social issues. Bergh has been on a campaign to combat gun violence—despite the risk of offending Levis-clad members of the NRA. (Read his commentary here.) And Hyman has been passionate about promoting women, and providing generous benefits to her employees. Both said their passion for the CEOs’ social mission is driven by their own beliefs, their employees’ demands, and their customers’ support. Customers are loyal to brands that display values, Bergh said.

The Dreamforce event conflicted with the Senate’s Kavanaugh hearing. Bergh noted that dysfunctional government is one big reason why it’s more important than ever that CEOs show leadership on social issues.

Hyman, by the way, is on Fortune’s 40-under 40 list; Bergh is on our Change the World list.

More news below. And here’s today’s must-read: Robert Hackett’s story on Kathryn Haun, who has gone from Bitcoin-crime prosecutor to cryptocurrency venture capitalist.

Alan Murray


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