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Recode Daily: Pinterest filed for a late-June IPO that could value it at $12 billion

Plus: Amazon will bring computer science courses to more than 1,000 US high schools; “unhackable” blockchains are now getting hacked; here’s your interactive Oscar ballot.

Ben Silbermann, co-founder and CEO, at Pinterest headquarters in San Francisco, California.
Ben Silbermann, co-founder and CEO, at Pinterest headquarters in San Francisco, California.
Roger Kisby / Getty Images for Pinterest

Pinterest confidentially filed paperwork for an initial public offering. The social network popular among home-renovation voyeurs and mid-century modernists is eyeing a late-June listing; aided by its main underwriters, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, the company is expected to seek a valuation of at least $12 billion. Pinterest follows Slack, which filed its own confidential IPO paperwork earlier this month, ramping up buzz in what’s expected to be a banner year of public offerings, including Lyft, Uber, and Airbnb. Recent tech IPOs have had a good run of it: The Journal reports that stocks are up about 33 percent, according to Dealogic; outpacing major indexes and all 2018 U.S. IPOs, which are up 11 percent. Meanwhile, Pinterest earned some goodwill among critics of social networks, announcing that it has stopped returning vaccine-related search results, as most of them spread anti-vax disinformation; it’s part of the company’s broader approach against “false cures.” [Maureen Farrell / The Wall Street Journal]

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CEO Spencer Rascoff has left Zillow, replaced by co-founder and former CEO Rich Barton. Rascoff helmed the real-estate site for nearly a decade, overseeing a tumultuous transition as the company moved from that place you go to see what your friend’s apartment cost to actually buying and selling homes, and offering mortgage-lending services. Zillow has been weathering a tough climate in the housing business, with its stock falling more than a quarter in the past year. The announcement of Rascoff’s departure sent shares tumbling a further 8 percent in late trading, before recovering. [Sara Salinas / CNBC]

Carl Icahn is pushing to sell Caesars Entertainment, but the company’s holding on to its CEO for a bit longer. The gambling giant and resort operator reported solid gains: Net revenue increased 11 percent to $2.12 billion in the last quarter. Profits were up, too, though primarily due to President Donald Trump’s tax reforms. No word as to whether this turning tide might be a lifeline for CEO Mark Frissora — he was supposed to be out the door earlier this month, but the company announced that he’ll stay on through the end of April to support a transition to a yet-to-be-named successor. [Aisha Al-Muslim / The Wall Street Journal]

Amazon isn’t pulling out of its education goodwill initiative. In its battle to win New Yorker’s hearts and young minds, the e-commerce giant promised to fund computer science classes in 130 schools; now the program’s being extended across the country to more than 1,000 high schools. The classes, funded through Amazon’s Future Engineer program, aim to teach computer-science skills to more than 100,000 underprivileged kids in 2,000 low-income high schools. A spokesman for Amazon said in a statement that the company intends to roll out the program to another 1,000 schools in the coming months. The program is part of Amazon’s larger $50 million investment in computer science and STEM education. “Amazon notes that there will be 1.4 million computer science jobs available by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, but only 400,000 computer science grads with the skills needed to apply for them.” [Sarah Perez / TechCrunch]

“Powered by blockchain” ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. The “unhackable” blockchain public ledger that powers cryptocurrencies around the world is looking less like a bank vault and more like Swiss cheese these days. A recent attack on Ethereum Classic, among the currencies on offer via Coinbase’s exchange platform, made off with $1.1 million. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, reports MIT Technology Review: “In total, hackers have stolen nearly $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency since the beginning of 2017, mostly from exchanges, and that’s just what has been revealed publicly.” In a smart explainer, Orcutt looks at how the inherent strengths of blockchain are being turned in vulnerabilities and why hackers may be stubbornly difficult to defeat. As if you needed more bad news about your bitcoin retirement account. [Mike Orcutt / MIT Technology Review]

Recode presents ...

For the fourth straight year, Recode Editor-at-Large Kara Swisher and Senior Commerce Editor Jason Del Rey are hosting some of the brightest minds in e-commerce and retail for a night of live journalism at An Evening With Code Commerce. The three-hour event — slated for Sunday, March 3, at The Venetian in Las Vegas — will feature Recode’s signature brand of unscripted interviews, as well as a cocktail party where you’ll have the chance to chat up 200 of your smartest peers. Onstage guests include Tim Armstrong, who has built a long career in digital media, and is now entering commerce with the launch of “the dtx company,” which is investing in direct-to-consumer brands like ThirdLove and Dirty Lemon; Helena Foulkes, who just a year ago was named CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company — the owner of the Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Hudson’s Bay chains; and Manish Chandra, who has quietly built eight-year-old Poshmark into the second-most-popular iPhone shopping app in the US, ranking just behind Amazon. This event will sell out, so register now.

Top stories from Recode

Google will end a practice that prevents its workers from taking the company to court over workplace disputes. It’s a big win for employee activists who have long demanded the change — but the new policies won’t apply to Google’s temps, vendors, and contractors. [Shirin Ghaffary]

Full transcript: New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd on Pivot. Dowd joins Kara Swisher on the latest episode, sitting in for Pivot’s regular co-host Scott Galloway. [Kara Swisher]

This is cool

Interactive Oscar ballot 2019: Make and share your picks.

Indie Spirits host Aubrey Plaza vows that Saturday’s awards show “will not be boring.”

Critics picks: Who should “win” the Razzies.

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