When Spotify goes public tomorrow, all eyes will be on 35-year-old CEO Daniel Ek, who built the $20 billion global company and helped revive the music industry along the way. But before the bell rings, meet CFO Barry McCarthy, the man behind Spotify’s daring “direct listing” offering on the New York Stock Exchange; he was Netflix’s CFO for eight years. If McCarthy’s unorthodox strategy works, it could pave the way for other tech startups to follow suit; that could potentially cut out Wall Street banks and their clients from a lucrative revenue stream, and would roil the financial services industry. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]
[Want to get the Recode Daily in your inbox? Subscribe here.]
Facebook is battling a backlash — and some of the sharpest criticism is coming from Silicon Valley rivals, who join a chorus of lawmakers, regulators, journalists and users on multiple continents. Among those who have stepped forward to speak out against the social media giant: Apple CEO Tim Cook, an Alphabet AI engineer and several former Facebook execs, including founding president Sean Parker. There are a mix of factors behind the barbs, from genuine concern to a desire to keep regulators and lawmakers focused on Facebook and away from their own companies. [Yoree Koh / The Wall Street Journal]
Hackers breached the payment systems of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor department stores, taking five million customer credit card and debit card numbers. The hacking group, known as JokerStash Syndicate or Fin7, claims to have been releasing the numbers for sale on the “dark web” since May 2017. It’s the latest in a series of intrusions that have exposed security gaps in corporate networks and compromised consumer data. [Robert McMillan and Suzanne Kapner / The Wall Street Journal]
Fortnite is eating the world. In case it hasn’t taken over your office or dorm yet, here’s a quick explainer of the free online game that recently hit a record of 3.4 million people playing concurrently. [Aja Romano / Vox]
Snapchat leaned into its bitter rivalry with Facebook yesterday — April Fools’ Day — with a prank photo filter that poked Facebook in the eye for its inability to curtail the Russian influence campaign on its site. And here’s a grab-bag of yesterday’s best (and lamest) tech-company pranks — Elon Musk joked on Twitter than Tesla has gone “so bankrupt you can’t believe it.” [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]
Recode Presents ...
Code Conference is famous for its onstage interviews, but we’re also doing something new this year: Code University, where the sharpest minds in leadership and tech offer deep dives on a single topic. Among our visiting faculty: Former Netflix HR guru Patty McCord; Ben Thompson, the razor-sharp mind behind Stratechery; and philanthropist and entrepreneur Naveen Jain, who is headed to the moon. Learn more.
Top stories from Recode
The Saudi Crown Prince is headed to Silicon Valley. One of its fanciest hotels is closed to the public. Coincidence?
Why can’t you stay at the Four Seasons this week?
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Apple’s technology is a “means, not an end” to help public education in his city.
Tech can help equalize opportunities in education, the mayor says.
President Obama “made the best decisions he could” about Russia, former adviser Valerie Jarrett says.
On the latest Recode Decode, Jarrett says tech companies should work with the government to safeguard democracy.
This is cool
A new generation of food magazines thinks small — and in ink.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.