tv Bloomberg Technology Bloomberg November 29, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am EST
we will talk about what new leadership means for the future of the internet town square. plus, omicron. how worried should we be? the world health organization says despite milder symptoms, the new variant could fuel surges with severe consequences. moderna's co-founder joins us. and the return of black friday. visits to stores and shopping centers up 48% from a year ago, but still well below pre-pandemic levels. how is cyber monday stacking up? we will discuss. first, let's get a look at the market stocks climbing and bonds falling after a relative sense of calm returned to global markets. investors reassessing worst-case scenarios for the omicron virus strain. kriti gupta joins us. how are investors digesting this today? >> they're turning back some of the panic you saw on friday. especially with the oma cron -- especially with the omicron variant. we saw this in july when we had the delta variant first emerge.
this panic selling among asset classes. the next trading session, a lot of defensive buying. that is what you are seeing with the nasdaq outperforming the s&p 500. 2021 is known for the shallow pullback. it is completely normal, taking all the tech subsectors up. the one that did not was the old -- golden dragon index. chinese adr's, you are seeing the regional bias toward the u.s.. let's look at what actually drove the s&p 500 higher. that was biotech. modernity, the highest index contributor in terms of stocks but also gave biontech a good boost. this coming as biontech starts to build their own vaccine candidate that addresses this variant. moderna saying they are on track, with the best capacity to deliver those vaccines. i threw up adagio therapeutics because they earned an upgrade at morgan stanley saying with the new strain of the virus, you will see more demand for their antibody cocktail that could
help tackle that virus. let's get to one of the biggest micro-stories that is jack dorsey resigning. i wanted to show you what his company is doing on a stock performance basis during his time as ceo. you can see square has outperformed. it is no surprise he is choosing to stay -- taking into consideration that interest in cryptocurrency. something to watch is how he expands that passion onto his square platform. emily: the big question is why now. jack dorsey stepping down as the company's ceo. he says twitter is ready to move on from its founders. dorsey's dual roles at square and twitter caused controversy over the years. activist management made a push for him to step down over a year ago. it did not happen then. so why now? what's bring in our senior executive editor and our economy
editor. the memo says a lot and not a lot. what more context we know about why and why now? >> jack has always marched to the beat of his own drummer. you take one look at him today and you can tell that. he has remarkably run two public companies. it is a bit of a surrender and acknowledgment that his management of twitter is facing significant challenges. elliott management has a stake. silver lake partners has a stake. there have been peace treaties in the past, but they want this company to grow. it has lagged. it has lagged other tech companies. it has grown maybe 76%. that is compared to an s&p 500 that is twice that growth in that time. i think investors are going to want more. they want more from twitter
than jack has been able to provide. emily: the most we get in terms of an explanation is that twitter is ready to move on from its founders. do you see that as a rebuke from what mark zuckerberg is doing doubling down with meta? >> yes, i do. i think it would be hard to read jack's memo to his staff today without hearing an implicit criticism of zuckerberg, especially far down where he says some founders choose their ego over their company. who has chosen their ego more recently than mark zuckerberg in renaming his own company over his own personal obsession with the metaverse in a way that confounds more or less everyone else? brad is right. square as a company has more potential than twitter.
he has been at twitter for a long time. he was pressured by the investors to get out. it adds up. emily: it is also interesting given when he took over as ceo of square, everybody thought he would eventually leave his role at square. now we see the reverse happening. the biggest clue we have gotten as to his interest now was a couple months ago when he said if he was not working at twitter or square, he would be working on something else. >> if i were not at square or twitter, i would be working on bitcoin. if it needed more help than square or twitter, i would leave them for bitcoin. i believe both companies have a role to play and i think anything we can do as companies to help find the right intersection between a corporate narrative and a community open narrative is for the best.
emily: both twitter and square have been doubling down on cryptocurrency and the person who is replacing jack has been the cto of twitter and also worked at twitter for more than a decade. what does this promotion of a technical insider tell you about the future of twitter? >> this is someone who has worked with jack for the past six years and has been at twitter for 10 years. i don't think it signifies that significant a change in direction. he is very technical. he is yet another of these high profile i.t. graduates running another silicon valley company. he has tweeted very infrequently.
it will be interesting to hear what his vision is. you mentioned the crypto project at twitter called the sky. it has been a serial -- ethere al. it has always been unclear what that means for twitter as a product. david was making this great point about facebook and mark zuckerberg and this pivot into the metaverse. there is an argument to be made that sometimes the only thing worse than doing that is not doing it. twitter has remained fairly stagnant. fairly the same over the past five or six years. we will be interesting to see if the new ceo has a different vision for twitter. emily: some of the things jack did accomplish, twitter is now profitable and he did take a significantly different stance on president trump's account than other social media companies. he banned president trump permanently from twitter. facebook has not done that,
youtube has not done that. david, do you think that decision took a toll? david: i think it took a big toll. it is not entirely certain it is not related to this move. what i hear is he has not been in evidence in the offices of both companies very much in the last year. of course, the pandemic has been underway. i think that you alienate a lot of people when you ban donald trump from twitter and i think that may have burdened him with some of the pushback he got as a result. though in reality, they say he did not make that decision. he was off on a desert island in the pacific and one of his deputies made that decision and i believe that. he is the ceo and he was where the buck stops. and he got blamed for it.
emily: to be fair, many people also applauded that decision. they thought twitter was making the right but hard call. one last question. he has left a couple of times and come back. is jack really gone for good? david: gone from twitter? i would say he is. the thing about square we have to remember is this is a company that could become one of the world's great financial companies. if he succeeds in incorporating his vision of cryptocurrency and bitcoin into square's future when it is already a $100 billion company, one of the most valuable companies in the world and with a huge runway ahead of it that you cannot see for twitter based on its current trajectory, he has way more on his plate already. he does not need to come back to twitter. he has the pride of authorship. that is probably plenty. emily: thank you both. lots to continue to watch.
meta has delayed the debut of its rebranded ticker. the parent company of facebook will continue to use the ticker sb until the first quarter of next year. meta had previously announced it planned to change its ticker december 1. coming up, it has been less than a week since the world first learned of the latest variant of covid-19. flights being restricted, uncertainty about the vaccine's potency and much more up next to with the cofounder of moderna about what he thinks about the new strain and and when he thinks a new vaccine might be available. this is bloomberg. ♪
>> if the virus escapes the protection of our vaccine after a booster dose, which will be very difficult, both need to check it, we have already started the process of developing a tailor-made vaccine but now only do we have high confidence that we will have it ready within 100 days, but we have a high level of confidence we can manufacture it by the billions if needed. emily: the ceo of pfizer earlier today with concerns quickly growing about the latest variant of covid-19 and that is omicron. first discovered in south africa. there has been a rush to block entry from certain countries in south africa, but optimism given the advancement of vaccines and
boosters. i'm joined by noubar afeyan, founder and chair of flagship pioneering. also the cofounder of moderna and chair of the company as well. great to have you back with us. we are hearing of a lot of things about omicron. the patients are younger. the moderna ceo has said it is already probably in every single country. given what we know about antibody levels right now, how worried are you about omicron and the state of the virus? noubar: thanks for having me on. the last 18 months should have gotten us to begin to move away from as opposed to being determined to protect ourselves and very vigilant. i definitely think this threat is something we have not seen before. the number of variations, mutations on this virus are surprising. they are not theoretically
impossible, but extremely rare. we have to take it for the serious threat it poses. we have a lot of weapons to fight back. we always should be worried when we are under attack. what we do about it is what matters. emily: so what should we do about it and what will moderna have to do about it? will this strain elude the current vaccine and what are the challenges? noubar: moderna issued a statement with a comprehensive plan we already have prepared for this eventuality that comprises a number of steps. one, quite rapidly verify whether the immune response a boosted patient will receive from our vaccine is sufficient to protect against infection from this omicron variant. that will be known in the next couple of weeks.
second, we have activated additional tests for multi variant vaccines that we have already under testing. in this case, the original theta variant and the delta variant. we already have human trials and we already have data. that might be the quick follow online. we already started and we said we think in 60 days, that will take us to a place where we have a fully omicron-specific vaccine should we need it. i don't think there is going to be one solution. there are going to be a number of defensive steps we should take to ensure we are fully protected. emily: what is the fastest possible timeline a moderna omicron booster could be available? noubar: availability to the public as a function of regulatory approval under
emergency use and that will largely be determined by the fda. i am sure they will look at the data the facts on the ground, , the level of threat and decide how much additional data it needs for this sequence variant to allow it to be more broadly available. i can't speculate. i think the piece of it that we control -- we think we are in position based on the 10-year platform development we have done already with mrna vaccines, we are in an ideal position to respond within a 60 day timeframe. emily: talk to us about the new science involved and what we know about antibodies and antibody levels and how that is informing your work. noubar: it is a very good question because i think the sole question of antibody levels is a very underexplored or under measured aspect of this pandemic. we talk about antigen testing to
see if you have been infected. what you really want to know is how strong is the antibody response in your body in response to a vaccine? that is something we have relatively little activity in other than the fact people are publishing papers showing very strong correlation between antibody levels and vaccine breakthrough. that is the hard antibody levels correlating to better protection. the fda is making decisions for booster approvals and the like based on antibody levels. i think as we enter the third phase of the pandemic, we need to be mindful of how the virus is varying itself and how our antibody level is adequate or not to protect us. it is those two measurements that have to happen side-by-side and went all the manufacturers have said in the next two weeks,
we will tell you if our vaccine is effective. it will be measuring antibody levels against this new threat. that should be more broadly available and more broadly deployed. if we do have a big threat, we are going to have to take protection in terms of masks and separation and curtailing travel. we are going to want to make sure whatever boosters we have we make available to the most vulnerable. the most vulnerable turn out to be the ones who have the lowest levels of antibody. emily: i know you have to get to another meeting, but one last quick question. do you see the need for a covert shot like we have the flu shot year after year or will variants start to become milder and milder? which way is this disease going to evolve? noubar: it is an interesting thing. on the one hand, we know more about this disease than all
other diseases combined in history in terms of the number of people it has impacted and we are treating and learning from shared on the other hand, we don't have good experience of how a pandemic becomes an endemic threat. that transition is what we are guessing. it is guesswork to see if this is going to become like a common cold or like the flu where there is a seasonal vaccine. there is a third alternative we have not seen before. this is the first time you and i spoke, i said this is an evolutionary battle between a pathogen, a virus attacking our social nature and the collective immune system of humanity. that battle continues. we have added technology. we have added behavioral changes. that battle will end up where it ends up and we have to be ready for all eventualities. i have said publicly i think more likely than not it ends up looking like a seasonal booster every year. there is no high certainty because we are in uncharted territory.
i know people started chopping weeks ago because they were worried about supply chain issues and because more people are doing their shopping from home anyway. brendan: that is right, we saw that on black friday. black friday itself had sales that were a little lackluster. was that a sign of impending weakness in consumer spending? probably not because the last few weeks before black friday were very strong. what you are seeing is the spreading out of demand over a longer time. emily: talk to us about how we are expecting cyber monday to stack up and some of the hot sellers and trends we are seeing. brendan: cyber monday, there is a lot of concern you could see something similar to black friday where the sales compared with last year are not great. could be down a little, could be up a little. probably not showing a big change. that is probably a function of demand getting spread out over the season.
in terms of hot sellers toys are , always a big hit. adobe called on everything from barbie dolls to nerf toys. playstation 5 is a big hit. what you are seeing also is gift cards. with gift cards, you can push demand into or the acquisition of products into next year and given the supply chain issues, that is a surefire winner even if you can't find stuff on the shelves. emily: if you need an idea, gift card it is. they are always available. brendan case, thank you for that update. plenty more coming up. we are going to bring you a special edition of studio 1.0 with the alphabet and google ceo sundar pichai. i'm emily chang in san francisco. this is bloomberg. ♪
do it. >> i am ready to go when you guys are. >> from google headquarters in mountain view, california, this is bloomberg studio 1.0 with the alphabet ceo. born and raised in india, he had almost no access to a computer until college but just years later found himself rising through the ranks of the world possible largest search engine. it was he that larry page and sergey brin chose to run google and later alphabet. now valued at more than $2 trillion, it is one of the most powerful companies on the planet. quite straight to be here with you today. quite google just hit a $2 trillion market cap, alphabet. where is the next trillion
dollars going to come from? >> this is something that you provide. there is more need to organize information than ever before. i still see surges. people will want radically more conversational experiences. they may look at something and ask what the information is. this will continue to be the biggest opportunity. we are so excited about the hardware products, google play. we are building a diverse set of businesses and underlying all of the investments we are making in ai. applying ai in a deeply is going
to create the biggest opportunity there. >> microsoft is making some big acquisitions. what do you make of these competitive moves? your competitors say they are on the right side of history. are they? >> i look at the fact that there are 3 billion people who have access to knowledge at their fingertips. i look at the opportunity we provide. i look at the skilled people are learning through youtube. i feel it everywhere when i going talk with people. providing access to people and knowledge would be on the right side of history as well. emily: eric schmidt told me that he feels the latest facebook revelations are disturbing. google also has access to massive amounts of our data. why should more than half the world's population trust google
to do the right thing? sundar: we are trying to do more with less data. one of the biggest changes we made was making auto delete the default setting for new users. now users have the data constantly being deleted. we rely on trust for people. every day when people come to google, they place their trust in us and -- in vulnerable moments. be it a health issue that they are trying to understand. there is no more important responsibility the we have then their trust. when we provide gmail to journalists, we realize that accounts may be under attack by -- by a government. that is what motivates us to make sure the high-security, the trust, we are doing the right thing. regulation will have an important role to play. privacy regulation is important. ai regulation will be important. those will be part of the -- as well. emily: the facebook fallout, that instagram can be toxic to teens.
has this raised new concerns for you about the impact of technology? algorithms, youtube even on our children and their development and their mental health. you are a parent, and you also have a lot of power over how this plays out. sundar: you know, like you, bringing kids up in this modern digital world is something all parents are anxious about, rightly so. i think it is part of why a few years ago in youtube, we were exposed to a set of concerns. we invested. it became our number one priority to work harder. the reason the youtube invested so much in developing youtube kids as a safe destination -- for young kids. technology will play a big role in helping to give children the next opportunity as well. so, answers to -- to be developed responsibly. we have changed our balance and
saying, we think about content responsibility first. then new features in areas like youtube. emily: facebook and microsoft are all in on the metaverse. what do you think about the metaverse? what is google strategy? sundar: it has been obvious to me that computing overtime adapt to people and people adapting to computers. just like you speak to people, you see and interact, computers will become more immersive. they will be there when you need it to be. i have always been excited about the future of immersive computing a.r. emily: does that count as the metaverse? is that what that is? sundar: metaverse, i think it means different things to different people. the way i think about it is evolving computing in an immersive way with augmented reality.
there are many experiences, some of which will be immersive, interactive, virtual world, which is the metaverse concept. but i think this does not belong to any company. this is the evolution of internet. the web, the internet. emily: google was famous for its campuses where you could go and never leave. you had everything you ever wanted. now you said they can be flexible, you can work from home, work at the office, they can be hybrid, remotely permanently perhaps. are you committed to letting them do this forever? if so, how does that change the future of work and society? sundar: we have really embrace the fact of the future is going to be flexible. at google, we have always tried
to give agency to our employees. but we do realize the importance of bringing people together -- t he creativity and community and collaboration that comes with it. the balance of street -- we are striking is this notion of -- the strength of our companies as we have more locations than most other companies. they are giving people choice to move anywhere in the world. they can work from anywhere. 20% of our workforce to be remote over time. we are going to embrace that flexibility. emily: forever? sundar: forever, yeah. we are committed to it. it forces us to design better products. since people use google workspace from their companies it gives us a chance to innovate and bring all of that power. i think there is so much value in giving people more flexibility between the personal and professional lives. and i think it will lead to people being happier.
and i think companies can be successful in that model. we are trying to get the best of both worlds, but embrace the flexibility and see where we go. emily: how confident are you that when you look back we'll be able to say google did enough? sundar: we are. putting so much energy and resources into it. ♪
sundar: i grew up in india and a big part of my childhood was a severe water scarcity. we would get water trucked in. and stand in lines and carry a few buckets of water home. there was no running water for many years. fast forward a few years ago, it had one in 100 year flood, which was very extreme event. and it drove home. that, combined with a few years ago waking up to the orange skies in the bay area. seeing the look of concern on my children's faces and having to explain it, all drove home in a deeply personal way for me. definitely something very motivating me to working to it. emily: i remember waking up to the orange skies, too. do you think the commitments
of cop 26 went far enough? sundar: we have to tip our hat to the people that are working super hard. the issues are genuinely difficult. you have to keep the economy is -- economies growing. it really matters. but, at the same time, it is a pretty severe urgent issue. i'm encouraged by the progress. it is built on the paris agreements. but we have to be optimistic and keep pushing. emily: google has set some aggressive targets to run en tirely on clean energy, to be the first tech giant to do so 24 hours a day. how confident are you when you look back a decade for now you will be able to say google good did enough to save the world? sundar: we are putting so much energy and resource into it.
it has always been a -- a founding value for us. we have been carbon neutral since 2007. we are now pushing, it is a to be 24-7 carbon free. every email you send, we can do it carbon free. we were at 61% in 2019. the number is now 67%. our goal is to be 100% by 2030 and to do it globally. that means we -- have to solve things we have not done before. wind and solar have not -- will not be enough. we will be investing in new technologies, including carbon capture over time. that is what excites me. we are a technology company as at heart. there are many answers to this problem. we will have to innovate our way out of it. and we want to push as hard as possible in doing that. emily: our bloomberg new economy
forum is happening in singapore. the asia pacific region is one of the fastest internet economies on the planet. where do you see the most opportunity for google to grow there? sundar: it is such -- a timeframe. i'm glad you are focused on the region. it is the most vibrant region we see. it is our 20th year since we opened our office in tokyo, the first office outside the bay area. you have 2.5 billion people on the internet. there are many areas in which they are leapfrogging -- which are here, and are embracing the future. digital payments is a great example. many of our products originated there. google maps, google pay. a lot of our journey to bring google play to more people is playing out in this region is -- in asia as
well. i'm excited about cloud. the companies there are transforming -- very exciting for us. a super dynamic region that i feel like we are learning at google being in the region. so, i think it will transform. the first 10 years i would've said we brought it to apac. over the years we are starting to build things there and some of our future global products will be apac first. emily: you cannot talk about it without talking about china and you're facing stiff competition from chinese tech giants there. what should u.s. policymakers know about competing with china? sundar: there's a lot of conversations about u.s. and china. a combination of fear. ai and quantum computing where we are investing a lot. chinese companies are neck and neck. what i think about, i'm encouraged by the news coming
out of -- about the u.s.-china agreement on climate. to me, while we talk about all the areas where we are competing, some of the biggest areas which are common challenges for all of humanity -- the pandemic was one, ai and ai safety over time will be a shared one, sustainable -- these are areas in which the countries can come together. i think that is away at by which we think about, as when we compete on the internet and then different versions of how they keep data. emily: what are the chances that google search will ever come back to china or that google cloud will ever come? sundar: today we do not provide most of our -- in china. i don't see that changing. but there are ways in area like ai or sustainability, i think there will be opportunities for us to work together. through cloud we will support multinational companies which are present everywhere.
emily: ai is advancing at an astonishing rate. it is hard to understand sometimes what this really means. in concrete terms, how will our lives look different? let's say 10 years from now as a result of ai? sundar: done correctly in many ways it is going to be helpful to you. you will take it for granted. the same way today, for example, in india, over on third -- comes through voice. that is something people take for granted. so, over time you expect to speak and be able to understand any language in the world. and those are all ways it is going to make it better. you may go to a doctor's office and go through a scan and the system may be prioritizing for the radiologist so they don't miss some important things. maybe giving them a second opinion. these are always in which it will start playing a role and i think we will see that.
emily: you mentioned if done correctly, and there are concerns. there are fears that ai will replicate the worst of society, even from your own researchers. what scares you most about ai? what keeps you up at night? sundar: the most profound thing we are working on is -- anytime we are developing technology there is a dual side to it. the journey of humanity as harnessing the benefits while minimizing the downside. it will take time. i've seen more focus on the downsides early on than most other technology we have developed. in some ways, i'm encouraged by how much concern there is. you're right. even within google, people think about it deeply. we publish a lot of research. i think it is more important that there are outside, academic institutions governments, nonprofits looking at this issue as well.
for the better. we have always been committed. it gave us an insight of what more you could do. we undertook deep commitments. and the biggest overall diversity and inclusion. i think if you're committed and you actually put in the effort behind it, you can make a difference. now we have stated, clear goals. we are on track to meet those goals. but it forced us to think about new answers. for example, tech companies use to talk about the pipeline problem. but we are now going to places where the talent is. we are working much harder, going to atlanta, going to d.c., going to chicago, going to new york. that is improving our diversity and representation at all levels. emily: the war for talent is even more competitive in this new world. what are you offering? elon musk says that big tech is a place where talent goes to die. any response to that? sundar: i look at the fact that
we are looking to hire 30,000 people next year. i look at the impact we have on any people coming and working in the latest -- many come in. people leave google we are proud of people that have left. there were 2000 companies that have been started by who we call -- i'm equally proud of that. i think we are one part of a big big system. and i think i'm proud of the role we played in bringing people and the impact they have over time in the outside work. emily: that is the heavy stuff out of the way. we will do some rapid fire to get to know you better. you said you had kicked up some new hobbies and this pandemic. what did you start? sundar: pizza, cooking pizza. learning to cook which i was never good at. emily: cricket or soccer? sundar: tough.
both. please don't make me choose. emily: squid games or ted lasso? sundar: i have watched both but ted lasso is much more calm. i would rather take ted lasso over squid games. emily: what was the last good book you read? sundar: i have been on a podcast binge. emily: favorite videos you watch on youtube with your kids? sundar: a lot of music videos. music videos, this whole notion where creators are watching other things and commenting on it. my kids are really into. i have gotten used to it. watching other games. emily: a policy that is worked for uyou as a parent. sundar: i have kind of given agency to my kids.
the only thing i tell them is that i can look at their digital well being once in a while with them. and so -- emily: how do you do that? sundar: i ask them to show it to me and they show it on their phones. that's pretty much the only thing. beyond that, it is agency. and talking to them about it, and making sure we are spending time doing other things. emily: making sure they develop good habits. metaverse or real world? sundar: done correctly, you should not feel the need to make a choice. always want to be present in the real world, and when you feel the need to do something, you want to do that but i do think presence and the realness of the real world will end up mattering for humans for a long time. emily: do you own any crypto? sundar: i wish, i've dabbled in it. in and out. emily: how many times a week do you talk larry and sergey? sundar: i talk to them regularly. it ebbs and flows. there are times we get excited about something and we spend a
lot of time talking it through but it depends on what i need. emily: a piece of advice you wish you had in your 20's and a piece of advice you wish you had in your 40's? sundar: 20's would be being patient. i think when you are young you are very impatient. a great thing. but sometimes you do amazing things by slowing down and being really focused over a period of time. i would advise the younger version of me to be more patient. maybe at 40, i would say i look at climate. i want all of us to be impatient. so, i feel like when there is an urgency to something, the world need to be impatient. emily: how much do you personally wrestle with the decisions that you have to make? and how much longer do you see yourself being the ceo of alphabet, not just alphabet but also google?
sundar: on the first one, there are moments we all have to make tough decisions. some decisions weigh on me. but it's a privilege to do it. i have very good people helping me think things through. i think the combination makes it all fine. on the second thing, i'm so energized by the things we need to do. i didn't have much access to computing growing up. it changed my life a lot. the one laptop -- motivated me to come into technology. when i look at us launching unaffordable smartphone in india, the chance to bring the next billion users in asia and india online, that kiss me a -- gives me alot of energy. emily: we will be watching from afar. sundar pichai, thank you so much for joining us. sundar: thank you. a pleasure to be here.
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♪ manus: this is "bloomberg daybreak: middle east." asian stocks rise at the s&p delivers it in more than a month. concerns that the new covid vaccine received. president biden's says officials do not believe that travel bans or shuttles will be needed. pfizer says we will know in weeks how well the vaccine holds up.