Milk Bar, Uber Lawsuit, DeVos Disclosures: Broadsheet for Nov. 9
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Milk Bar bakery is expanding, Marissa Mayer blames Moscow for the Yahoo data breach, and we get a good look at Betsy DeVos’s finances. Have a sweet Thursday.
• Meet the next Martha Stewart. Yesterday, Milk Bar—the whimsical bakery founded by Christina Tosi—announced that it has closed its first-ever round of funding, a Series A in which RSE Ventures was the sole investor. In an exclusive interview with my Fortune colleague Beth Kowitt, Tosi says she wants to use the funding to bring her desserts to more people, which speaks to one of the reasons she got out of fine dining in the first place.
But Milk Bar’s expansion is about more than new stores. “It’s about finding more thoughtful, meaningful ways to reach people,” Tosi tells Beth. That includes growing e-commerce and launching more cooking classes. The funding will also allow Tosi to hire employees with specific expertise rather than only utility players. “It gives us a greater opportunity to make decisions based on a strategy and not feel like we’re chasing after something,” she says.
Tosi earned a cult following for her products—which include crack pie, compost cookies, and cereal milk soft serve—and opened 14 locations without taking any outside investment. And she’s profitable.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for Milk Bar to evolve into a lifestyle brand, to take the brick and mortar and extend it,” says RSE Ventures co-founder and CEO Matt Higgins. “I see Christina as perhaps the next incarnation of Martha Stewart for this generation.”
Read more of Beth’s story here: Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Mayer blames Moscow. During her testimony to Senate yesterday about the data breaches at her former employer, one-time Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer blamed Russia: “Unfortunately, while all our measures helped Yahoo successfully defend against the barrage of attacks by both private and state-sponsored hackers, Russian agents intruded on our systems and stole our users’ data,” she told the Commerce Committee. Fortune
• At least he’s honest? At the same Senate hearing, Paulino Barros, Equifax’s interim CEO (the company was also the victim of a massive cyber attack) refused to guarantee that the company would not force consumers into arbitration to resolve disputes. As FastCo notes, “the frustrating exchange highlights the extent to which companies have come to rely on forced arbitration—and the fact that they’re unlikely to give up the practice without legislation forcing them to.” Recall that arbitration agreements are a major factor in why sexual harassment cases in major corporations so rarely come to light. Fast Company
• Another Uber suit! Roxana Del Toro Lopez, a former engineer at Uber, is suing the company for using “stack ranking” to evaluate employees. The process forces managers to measure their employees against one another—so even if two people are performing identically, they can’t be rated equally. Lopez alleges that women lost out because of the system, resulting in lower pay and fewer promotions. Though the ride-hailing company recently abandoned stack ranking, nearly one-third of Fortune 1000 still use it. Bloomberg
• Weinstein’s list. Actress Asia Argento—one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers—tweeted out a Google document of the women who have accused the movie producer of sexual harassment or assault on Tuesday afternoon. The current tally, according to the document: 18 women allegedly raped, nearly 100 allegedly harassed. (Weinstein has denied all accusations.) Twitter
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• DeVos disclosures. Want to know how billionaires invest their money? Thanks to Betsy DeVos being appointed U.S. education secretary, you now can. In this neat interactive graphic, WSJ illustrates the investment structure used by the DeVos family office, as well as reveals lots of details about the family’s assets (which include at least 10 boats, four planes, and two helicopters). Wall Street Journal
• Space race (to parity). A new collaboration between Russian and American space agencies began on Nov. 7. The crew, which consists of three male and three female astronauts, is sealed in a 430-sq-ft simulated spacecraft in Moscow for a little over two weeks. They are laying the groundwork for future moon voyages—and one of the things being tested is the optimal male-female ratio for trips. Quartz
• Today in TV land. Julianna Margulies has been cast in the upcoming AMC drama Dietland, where she will play “a wildly ambitious magazine editor whose world is thrown into chaos when a feminist terrorist organization starts targeting people in her orbit,” reports Variety. Meanwhile, Apple has struck a deal for a new TV-news focused drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.
• West says it best. In another *insert fire emoji* op-ed, feminist writer Lindy West explains why it “it took me two decades to become brave enough to be angry.” She goes on: “Feminism is the collective manifestation of female anger. They suppress our anger for a reason. Let’s prove them right.” New York Times
ON MY RADAR
Hillary Clinton guest edits Teen Vogue Volume IV Teen Vogue
5 ways women won big on the first Trump-era election night Fortune
Benjamin Genocchio, director of international art fairs, accused of sexual harassment New York Times
From the Islamic State to suburban Texas The Atlantic