Listen to this article
This article is from today’s FT Opinion email. Sign up to receive a daily digest of the big issues straight to your inbox.
If a mom-and-pop business looks to its scions to take over, it can seem part of the natural order. But what if the company is a major corporation, even one with international reach? And what if the heirs start throwing mid-air tantrums at the staff?
John Gapper argues in his column that the millennial corporate heirs need a bit of humility as they prove their worth. The recent examples of this “natural” succession to other family members are, furthermore, hair-raising. There is Heather Cho, notorious, as John observes, for having humiliated a Korean Air crew over how her in-flight nuts were served in 2014, while her sister Cho Hyun-min allegedly threw water at an advertising agency executive during a dispute.
Other examples include: Yannick Bolloré, 38-year-old son of the investor and industrialist Vincent Bolloré, who was arrested on Tuesday in a bribery probe, last week described his appointment as chairman of the supervisory board of Vivendi, the French media group that his father controls, as “very natural”. And there is Alexandre de Rothschild, 37-year-old son of David de Rothschild, who is to take control of the family bank next month.
John’s advice on how they could ready themselves to succeed comes too late for some: as he writes “Cho Hyun-min failed the leadership challenge when she threw water at a hapless executive. Inheriting a business is the easiest thing in the world; handling it is very difficult.”
The deep state is getting on fine — Edward Luce argues that the appointment of Gina Haspel at the state department shows that the Trump White House and organisations such as the CIA are hand-in-glove. “Only obeying orders” won’t be much of a defence, Ed writes.
Data defies the old rules of ownership — Diane Coyle explores the challenges posed by regulating data-sharing and data ownership in the digital world. Personal data poses a particular challenge, but recent open source initiatives offer intriguing routes to follow.
A brand new Kim? Roula Khalaf wonders how far North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has gone in his transformation from isolationist dictator to diplomat willing to engage with his neighbours. On Friday, he holds his first face-to-face talks with South Korea’s leader, Moon Jae-in, and will then meet Donald Trump. It is, Roula writes, an extraordinary makeover.
India’s angry young women speak out — Sixteen-year-old student Meyha Bishnoi writes for the FT of her horror about the daily damage being done to her sex: women and girls are on the receiving end of an epidemic of rape, violence and oppression and fear is keeping them indoors, she explains.
Best of the rest
Scott Pruitt’s new rule could completely transform the EPA — Robinson Meyer in the Atlantic
Hope in Arizona — Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times
Tech has no moral code. It is everyone’s job now to fight for one — Lizzie O’Shea in the Guardian
Toronto Refuses to Give In To the Terrorism Trap — Stephen Marche in The Walrus
Alfie Evans’ parents should decide his fate — Jenni Russell in The Times
What you’ve been saying
A Swiss template for the Irish border— letter from Mark Burges Watson
Last week’s Machiavellian machinations have put the Irish border question back in the spotlight once again. I am somewhat mystified about the true extent of the challenge when the EU’s own experts have already said that a solution is perfectly possible. I was lucky enough to be in Switzerland at Easter, and we drove our British registered car though the EU-Swiss border outside Geneva with no passport checks.
Comment from BTDT on Millennial heirs must prove their worth
The patriarchs and matriarchs would all do well to learn from Warren Buffett and the likes and discard all superstitions about bloodlines when it comes to the management of business. Ownership, perhaps, but management, no.
Doubts grow over the ‘big progress’ on North Korea— letter from BJ Yang
Even if North Korea agrees to denuclearise, the manual on nuclear weapon technology is retrievable at any time from the brain of North Korea’s engineers. It is our insoluble dilemma that US President Donald Trump and the western world must face.
The Windrush scandal reminds us of the value of archives
Destroying records and cutting library funds are political acts with grave implications
CIA nominee’s insider history raises deep state fears
Only following White House orders will be no defence for the agency’s decisions
The digital economy is disrupting our old models
Neither market nor state is the right ownership structure in the information age
Donald Trump is right: China must play by the rules
But he must be careful not to alienate potential allies in his tussle with Beijing
The worst part of India’s rape problem is its familiarity
Sexual assault and harassment are so common that fear keeps women indoors by choice
FT View: Restoring public trust in Britain’s border policy
The Home Office needs a new approach, not national identity cards
FT View: A fast-changing market requires a disciplined US Federal Reserve
The US central bank chairman must not flinch in the face of volatility
The Big Read
The Big Read: Customs union: the battleground set to decide the fate of Brexit
The ‘in-out’ fight is the principal antagonism in negotiations with the EU
Get alerts on Opinion when a new story is published