Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Monday morning

General Mills restructures corp comms into three teams; Elon Musk grills Robinhood CEO over GameStop saga.

Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Monday morning

Big changes at General Mills. The CPG giant has restructured its corporate communications function into three teams to better support internal comms and drive a stronger cadence of external storytelling. General Mills’ global chief communications officer Jano Cabrera shared all the details with PRWeek.

A CEO-to-CEO showdown. Tesla CEO Elon Musk spontaneously grilled Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev early Monday on audio chat app Clubhouse about why the trading app halted trading on GameStop last week. Tenev explained that Robinhood had to suspend the trading of volatile stocks like GameStop after clearing firms demanded extra capital to help offset the high volume of transactions being processed. He added that more transparency was needed in the formulas used by financial institutions to calculate requirements. “We knew this was a bad outcome for customers,” Tenev said. “People get really pissed off if they’re holding stock and they want to sell it and can’t.”

A sure bet. MGM has acquired the book proposal The Antisocial Network from author Ben Mezrich, all about last week’s GameStop trading frenzy and how it got started on the WallStreetBets Reddit forum, according to Deadline. Mezrich is the author of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, which was adapted into The Social Network in 2010.

A possible humongous merger. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to negatively impact oil prices, Chevron CEO Michael Wirth and Exxon CEO Darren Woods last year discussed the possibility of merging the two companies, according to The Wall Street Journal. The talks are not ongoing. But if the merger went through, it would be among the largest in history and likely face antitrust scrutiny from President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice. 

Facebook knew it had a problem with hateful groups. Five months before the U.S. Capitol riots, in August 2020, Facebook staffers told execs that 70% of the site’s top political groups were full of hate speech, misinformation and violent threats, according to internal Facebook documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Last week, Facebook made its ban on civic-group recommendations permanent, following a letter from Democrat lawmakers calling for it to do so. Group administrators must also review content posted by other group members. "That helps us because we can then hold them accountable," Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP of integrity, told the WSJ.

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