Sterling attacks Magic in CNN interview
Disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attacked basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson in an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN that aired on Monday night, a venue that could have been his best opportunity to beg the public for forgiveness. Sterling said about Johnson, "I don’t think he’s a good role model for the children of Los Angeles." Contending that Johnson hasn’t done enough to help the city’s African-American community, he also pointed out that the former basketball star "got AIDS." (Johnson is HIV-positive). Sterling also said he believes he has the support of most NBA players, many of whom protested his remarks in the past two-plus weeks. Meanwhile, his wife said in an interview with The New York Times that she will fight any attempt by the NBA to take away her share of the team.
Pfizer chief faces British lawmakers
Pfizer CEO Ian Read met with a panel of UK legislators on Tuesday morning, telling them he did not see any regulatory hurdles for a possible acquisition of AstraZeneca. He also said the R&D department of a combined company would be smaller than the two units now maintained by the pharma rivals. In a column published Monday night, Dealbook editor Andrew Ross Sorkin questioned why Read isn’t facing a similar grilling from Congress about the deal, which would save Pfizer millions by allowing it to move its tax base to London.
Alibaba strengthens stance against counterfeiting
Ahead of a US IPO that many observers say could be the tech sector’s biggest ever, Alibaba is toughening its stance against counterfeit goods sold on its website. On Monday, the Chinese e-commerce company hired PepsiCo comms leader and former top Treasury Department aide Jim Wilkinson as its SVP and head of international corporate affairs.
Novartis names new global comms leader
Swiss pharma giant Novartis has appointed Michael Willi as group head of communications, effective June 1. He will replace Michele Galen, who has decided to return to the US for family reasons, in the role.
EU says Google must let users delete some links
The European Union’s highest court ruled Tuesday that Google must allow users to delete embarrassing links about themselves after a period of time, unless showing them is in the public interest. The ruling comes as the EU is debating a broader "right to be forgotten" online.