The Profile: The man who gave away his $8-billion fortune & the CEO tasked with turning around Under Armour
This edition of The Profile features Stephanie Linnartz, Charles F. Feeney, Shams Charania, James Daunt, and more.
Good morning, friends!
“How do you fight complacency?”
This is a question I love asking people, but I recently ended up asking it to myself.
I love this newsletter with my whole heart, but I’ve been feeling a little aimless lately. So I asked myself: When do I feel most energized? Most like myself?
It’s when I’m interviewing a fascinating person. It’s that simple … so why wasn’t I doing it?
I realized that I was publishing twice a week — the newsletter on Sunday and the Profile Dossier on Wednesday. Both editions of the newsletter take an inordinate amount of time researching, watching interviews, listening to podcasts, and of course, reading longform profiles. There’s very little time to create original work.
I realized I had become a curator, which is … far from an interviewer.
So I have some news: Rather than hiding behind the smokescreen of curation, I’ll be pivoting The Profile toward more original interviews. And I’ll be the one conducting those interviews.
This means a few things:
You will continue receiving the Sunday newsletter with my top weekly profile recommendations.
I will replace the Profile Dossier with original interviews. Though I may not send you a new interview every single week, I can assure you they will be higher quality and full of more takeaways and learnings. I’ll be focusing on quality rather than quantity.
In the meantime, I’d love your input. Who would you like to hear from? Who is the most interesting person you know or have read about? Reply to this email and let me know. I’ll do my best to offer a variety of perspectives you may not find anywhere else.
I’ll be publishing a new interview next week. And the week after that. In the meantime, you can check out my archive of interviews here, including some personal favorites like author James Clear, war photographer Lynsey Addario, and ex-GE CEO Jeff Immelt.
As always, thank you. Thank you for being on this winding journey with me, thank you for supporting my every endeavor, and thank you for allowing me to make this work my livelihood. If you want to support me and The Profile by becoming a premium member, you can do so below.
— The CEO tasked with turning around Under Armour [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
— The man who gave away his $8-billion fortune
— The NBA reporter who tweeted his way to the top
— The bookstore undergoing a transformation
— Las Vegas’ first cannabis-friendly hotel
PEOPLE TO KNOW.
The CEO tasked with turning around Under Armour: Stephanie Linnartz, the former president of Marriott, recently took the CEO job at struggling sportswear company Under Armour. On the surface, Linnartz’s decision to jump to a sportswear retailer seems like an odd fit for an executive who’s spent her career in luxury hotels. But for her, it’s about something bigger. She followed the advice she’s given to many other women over the years. “Take the toughest, most difficult job or project someone can give you, because that’s how you move ahead.” Will she be able to turn around a company hurt by slumping growth and controversies surrounding its founder? (FORTUNE; complimentary link provided)
“Life’s all about timing—and I always had this idea that the rewards of taking risks are, the great majority of the time, worth it.”
The man who gave away his $8-billion fortune: Charles F. Feeney, a pioneer of duty-free shops who gave away nearly all of his $8 billion fortune to charity, much of it as quietly as he had made it, died last week at age 92. Unlike philanthropists whose names are publicized and emblazoned on building facades, Feeney gave anonymously to universities, medical institutions, scientific endeavors, human rights groups, peace initiatives and scores of causes intended to improve lives in the United States, Vietnam, South Africa, Australia, Israel, Jordan and other lands. Here’s how he lived a life of service. (The New York Times)
The NBA reporter who tweeted his way to the top: Shams Charania tweeted his way to the top of the NBA reporting world. Charania works for The Athletic, the sports website that is now business-critical to the future of The New York Times and where his title is senior NBA insider. The job involves staying in near-constant contact with hundreds of agents, executives, players, and hangers-on throughout the NBA in order to be in position to break basketball news big and small to his 2.1 million followers on Twitter — more than any other reporter at The Times. Will his model become the future of sports journalism? (New York Magazine)
“He’ll text you 20 times in an hour, to a point where he wears guys down, and you just want him to f*ing leave you alone.”
COMPANIES TO WATCH.
The bookstore undergoing a transformation: Barnes & Noble’s new CEO James Daunt is pushing the chain to act more like the indie stores it was once notorious for displacing — and to embrace lighter, brighter interiors with modular shelves designed for maximum flexibility. “Any design agency would have a heart attack if they could see what we’re doing,” he said. “We don’t have any architect doing our design at any stage. There’s no interior designer.” (The New York Times)
“The curious trick has been that if you actually let the local book-selling teams do what they think is best, you suddenly get much better bookstores.”
Las Vegas’ first cannabis-friendly hotel: Located just off the Strip, The Lexi was once the Artisan Hotel, which became notorious among locals as a late-night hang out that hosted sex parties. But now the 64-room, adults-only Lexi has officially become Sin City’s first weed-friendly hotel. “It's cannabis-inclusive, not cannabis-centric,” says Alexandre Rizk, the 44-year-old real estate entrepreneur who bought The Artisan for $12 million in 2022. (Forbes)
“We are breaking no rules.”
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