Forbes Daily: Hot Sauce Billionaire 🌶️
How one Vietnamese refugee built Sriracha into a billion-dollar business; Bill Gates speaks about AI; the rise of activist investors; and more.
Good morning! Let's jump to Monday with some wise insight from Bill Gates, a billionaire who recently spoke with Forbes about his work with AI unicorn OpenAI, and how artificial intelligence could impact jobs and medicine.
Even though he has left the Microsoft board of directors in 2020, the cofounder still spends around 10% of his time at the headquarters with the product teams. Many of these discussions are centered on AI. How AI will transform the way we work and how Microsoft's software products can help. The full conversation can be found here via Senior Reporter Kenrick Cai, and Senior Editor Alex Konrad, my Forbes colleagues. Register here to receive the Forbes Daily Morning Newsletter straight to your inbox.
BREAKING NEWS: Emergency workers and medical teams attempt to reach trapped residents of a building that collapsed following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Diyarbakir (southeastern Turkey) on Monday. It was the deadliest earthquake in the region in more than a decade. Also, tremors were reported from Israel, Cyprus, Lebanon, and Egypt. (Photo: AP).
Beyonce won the 32nd Grammy award for her career. Viola Davis was awarded EGOT status. Viola is now the 18th person to win an Emmy or Grammy, Oscar, Oscar, Tony Award, and the record for most career Grammy wins.
BUSINESS + Finance
Activist investors are also known as shareholder activists. They purchase minority stakes of companies in order to alter them for a variety of reasons. This is reviving the debate about who these actors are, what their motives are and whether regulation should be implemented.
Despite recent wave of layoffs in corporate America, January's unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, a level that was 54 years ago. The Federal Reserve is likely to continue its aggressive campaign against rising prices. This was evident in the fact that the labor market added more jobs than anticipated.
Our Investing Digest newsletter will help you understand what is driving markets and how it could affect your portfolio. Register immediately
WEALTH + ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Forbes found that three investment funds purchased shares in Adani Enterprises’ scuttled $2.5Billion offering. Forbes also discovered that they had ties to Adani Group and possible Adani proxies. Two of the funds are located in Mauritius, and one in India. They agreed to purchase 9.24% of all shares that were available to anchor investors.
Dmitry Zelenov, a real estate baron, died in December. His assets, which once made him a billionaire before the Great Recession hit, were not left to him. Now his family is fighting over his fortune.
TECH + INNOVATION
Alphabet laid off employees claim that Google reduced its company, which protects people against surveillance to a "skeleton crew". According to them, Jigsaw, which makes tools to protect people against surveillance, saw its workforce cut by at least one third amid concerns that its altruistic work was being abandoned in favor of more lucrative ventures.
ADSB Exchange is a flight-tracking website for hobbyists that publishes information about private planes of billionaires such as Elon Musk or Putin-friendly oligarchs. It was recently sold to JetNet, which is owned by Silversmith Capital Partners. Users are now worried that the strong, independent community that runs it could be persuaded to remove flight tracking information upon request by the powerful.
SPORTS + Entertainment
Rihanna will be the headliner at the Super Bowl's halftime show on February 12. This is her first live performance in five year. This career-defining feat typically causes album sales to soar and streams to explode; artists like Rihanna saw the greatest boosts.
According to reports, 11 times were called Medics on the set in the United Kingdom of Netflix's Squid Game: The Challenge. This is the latest claim of unsafe conditions during filming.
Daily Cover StoryChief executive Georgia Stewart at Tumelo's Bristol headquarters, England. LEVON BISS FOR FORBES
Who decides how keel corporations should be?
Topline Bristol, England-based Tumelo developed software that allows fund managers to be free from ideological conflict, allowing common shareholders to voice their opinions on diversity, workplace conditions, and the environment.
Five-year-old company with 57 employees, $22 million in venture capital and $22 million in equity capital provides investors a platform to voice their opinions in proxy contests. Tumelo receives fees from funds and brokers who want to offer a voting option as a selling point. Retail clients give Tumelo read-only permission to their brokerage accounts. Tumelo then chooses from nine policies, ranging from anticarbon stances to worker rights.
A report is prepared for the fund that includes all preferences and shares of Tumelo-active investors. The manager can then vote on each proposal.
WHY IT MATTERS Index fund managers BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street have a large amount of voting power at U.S. companies, but perhaps they shouldn't. Forbes Senior Contributor William Baldwin poses. Tumelo allows retail investors to share their wishes and then pass them along the proxy chain. This helps time-strapped individuals who wish to voice a view that might influence the financial intermediaries managing their money.
Baldwin says that voting rights would be passed to those who contributed capital if there was true shareholder democracy. If your brokerage account or 401(k), is invested in funds, then that would be you.
MORE Cometeer's Frozen coffee pod business is in hot water after layoffs and a CEO change
FACTS AND COMMENTS
David Tran, 45 years after arriving in Los Angeles as a refugee from Vietnam, has made Sriracha a multi-billion-dollar company. This is the story about how a Vietnamese refugee became America’s first hot sauce billionaire.
10% Sriracha bottles are found in almost one in ten American kitchens.
$1.5 billion: This is the value of the U.S. hot-sauce market, where Sriracha is No. 3.
$131 Million: 2020 estimates for Huy Fong (Tran's company that makes Sriracha).
STRATEGY & SUCCESS
The tax season 2023 will be easier than in recent years due to fewer Covid-19 restrictions and the return of tax authorities. The IRS has confirmed that they will issue more than 90% refunds within 21 days. This is assuming there are no filing issues. Forbes published a comprehensive guide on tax refunds for 2023. Here's what you should expect.
Africa's richest people: Inside the Forbes Africa Billionaires List 2023. The Pentagon found a surveillance balloon at high altitude above Billings, Montana last Wednesday that it believes belonged to China. What was the size of the balloon?
C. The length of the football field
D. The dimensions of three buses
You can check if it is yours right here.
ACROSS THE NEWSROOM
Forbes' career advice will help you climb the corporate ladder. Subscribe immediately to our Careers newsletter. It is sent weekly on Wednesday mornings.
BEYOND THE NEWSROOM The Forbes Under 30 Summit Africa returns for its second year to Africa, the world's largest growth market. This event is a must-attend and will take place in Gaborone (Botswana) between April 23-26. Register now. Nominations are being sought for Forbes' fifth annual AI 50 List. Forbes' data-driven Midas List is back for its 22nd year. It ranks the 100 most prominent private tech investors worldwide. The deadline for submissions is February 14th.
Thank you for reading! Follow us on Twitter to receive the most recent financial and business news throughout the day.