Elon Musk says he will probably move to Mars. In an interview for Axios’ new HBO series, the visionary SpaceX and Tesla CEO said there’s a “70 percent chance” he’ll get to Mars within his lifetime. “I’m talking about moving there,” said the future Martian, adding that he can envision a flight as soon as seven years from now, with a ticket price of “around a couple hundred thousand dollars.” SpaceX aspires to send its first cargo mission to Mars in 2022, with a manned mission targeted for 2024; Musk announced last week that the company has renamed its massive Mars vessel the Starship — it was previously dubbed the Big Falcon Rocket. Musk also talked about Tesla’s near-death experience, describing the long nights solving the critical production problems on the Model 3 car, which sometimes even saw him sleeping in the factory. [Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei / Axios]
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Uber, Pinterest and the rest of the 2019 IPO class emerged from the ashes of the Great Recession. The wealth created in 2019 when several of America’s highest-valued startups go public — Uber, Lyft, Pinterest, Slack — should be particularly sweet for one reason: They were founded during times of economic destruction. And Airbnb’s announcement of a chief financial officer earlier this week kick-started a new round of speculation about Airbnb’s intentions, which had quieted while it was looking for a new finance leader. It, too, was founded during the Great Recession. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]
A former Facebook staffer posted a 2,500-word internal memo detailing what he calls Facebook’s “black people problem.” Mark Luckie, who is black, was a strategic partner manager for global influencers focused on underrepresented voices; he is the latest high-profile departure at the company to speak out about its internal problems. The memo, which was circulated in early November before Luckie’s last day, details a broad failure to represent Facebook employees and users of color. Luckie concludes by saying, “I’ve lost the will and the desire to advocate on behalf of Facebook.” [Charlie Warzel / BuzzFeed News]
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was represented in London by an empty chair as officials from nine countries gathered for a hearing on Facebook’s business practices and the spread of misinformation. In Zuckerberg’s absence, policymakers spent more than three hours grilling his stand-in, Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president for policy solutions; they criticized the company’s influence on democracy, its distribution of false news and its use of personal user data. “You have lost the trust of the international community,” said Charlie Angus, who represented Canada; he was joined by officials from Argentina, Brazil, Ireland, Latvia, Singapore, France, Belgium and Britain. [Adam Satariano / The New York Times]
Alphabet’s Waymo self-driving car subsidiary hired former National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman to serve as its chief safety officer beginning in January. The announcement comes weeks ahead of Waymo’s planned launch of the country’s first driverless ride-hailing service in metropolitan Phoenix. Waymo also hired its first chief commercial officer, Amee Chande, who will oversee business strategy, operations and strategic partnerships as the company starts to monetize its work with driverless vehicles; Chande was managing director of global strategy and operations for Alibaba Group. [Phil LeBeau / CNBC]
Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg is stepping down just months after he outlined an ambitious plan to return the magazine publisher to profitability by 2020. Sauerberg, who took the chief executive post in January 2016, will stay on in his role until the appointment of his successor, who will oversee both Condé Nast and Condé Nast International in the newly created role of global chief executive. The two companies had previously operated independently with their own CEOs, senior teams and publications, which include Vanity Fair, Vogue and the New Yorker in the U.S., and Vogue Paris and British GQ overseas. Condé Nast is sticking with Sauerberg’s turnaround plan, designed to make the company less dependent on advertising and focus on such areas as video, consulting services and business-to-business marketing; it will likely involve painful layoffs and put several titles up for sale. [Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg / The Wall Street Journal]
That was quick: Starting next year, YouTube will make all of its new original programming available for free for anyone to watch. The Google-owned video platform has concluded that its investments in YouTube Originals will fare better on its free, ad-supported side — not just tucked behind a paywall on its $11.99-a-month YouTube Premium subscription service, which until May was called YouTube Red. While it will continue to green-light scripted productions, YouTube is expected to scale back scripted shows in 2020, moving toward more mainstream celebrity-driven and creator-based reality fare. [Todd Spangler / Variety]
Microsoft briefly eclipsed Apple as the world’s most valuable company for the first time in eight years. On Monday, when tech stocks were recovering from the previous week’s bummer, Microsoft reached a valuation of $814 billion; as of 1 pm, its market cap had settled back to $807 billion. Meanwhile, Apple’s market cap was slightly less, at $805 billion; yesterday it was back on top, with a market value of $827 billion to Microsoft’s $822 billion. In August, Apple became the first company to hold a trillion-dollar valuation — hitting a peak of $1.12 trillion — but has fallen since, especially in October. [Mark Sullivan / Fast Company]
Top stories from Recode
Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective bought Pop-Up Magazine Productions.
The social impact firm makes another media acquisition, this time of the publisher of California Sunday magazine and Pop-Up Magazine events. [Kara Swisher; New York Times op-ed here]
Google workers publicly called on the tech giant to end plans for a censored search product in China.
Employees are asking management to end the project, citing human rights concerns. [Shirin Ghaffary]
Why some cultures desire rules, why others avoid them — and what gets the best results. On the latest episode of Recode Decode, an interview with “Rule Makers, Rule Breakers” author Michele Gelfand.[Kara Swisher]
This is cool
This ATM started spitting out $100 bills and people lost their dang minds.
China’s Christmas village isn’t worried about Trump’s trade war.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.