Microsoft’s ripped-up Jedi contract, Sydney in lockdown and the Sun Valley elite

Planet Business: New chair of embattled Teneo looks to put an end to ‘bad occurrences’

Image of the week: Sydney winter

Australia has avoided the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic so far, but there's not much joy to be found in the mostly unvaccinated Sydney right now with its premier Gladys Berejiklian confirming on Wednesday that the city's two-week stay-at-home order would be extended by a further week to July 16th. In a bid to contain the rise of the Delta variant, authorities have been issuing lists of venues – supermarkets, petrol stations, banks – which anybody who attended between certain times is now deemed a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days. Other lists indicate where anybody present is regarded as a casual contact and must get tested and isolate until they get a negative result. Meanwhile, after a construction worker at the Sydney Opera House tested positive, dozens of Opera Australia musicians and performers who were there rehearsing for Verdi's Otello were ordered into self-isolation.

In numbers: Jedi business

Months since Microsoft was awarded the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (Jedi) cloud contract by the US department of defense, beating market leader Amazon Web Services to the prize.

$10 billion
Estimated value of the contract, designed to modernise IT operations at the Pentagon over the next 10 years. Amazon Web Services almost immediately filed a lawsuit in protest, arguing that then president Donald Trump was biased against Amazon and then chief executive Jeff Bezos.

Gain in Amazon's share price on Tuesday, after the award of the contract to Microsoft was cancelled, with a new competition to be fought.


Getting to know: Ursula Burns

Former Xerox chief executive Ursula Burns has been tapped to chair embattled PR firm Teneo in a bid to make the consultancy less troubled, less embattled. A senior adviser to Teneo since 2017, Burns's appointment was announced this week by new chief executive Paul Keary and follows the resignation of Irish co-founder Declan Kelly from both roles – Kelly's position was no longer Teneoable after the Financial Times revealed allegations he inappropriately touched six women at a charity event. Burns, who has described Kelly as "a friend of mine who definitely had a bad occurrence", says she has "a deep understanding" of Teneo, which must be a relief all round. The non-executive director of companies including ExxonMobil and Uber should be ideally placed to prevent more "bad occurrences". Maybe she can even woo General Motors back as a client.

The list: Sun Valley drop-ins

Media moguls and other C-suite types have been refamiliarising themselves with an old haunt over the past few days: the Allen & Company invitation-only conference/shindig in Sun Valley, Idaho. Yes, they probably have all seen the new Succession trailer. So who's there?

1. Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos. The co-CEOs of Netflix beamed as they posed for photographs together, and why wouldn't they?

2. Sheryl Sandberg. The Facebook chief operating officer arrived holding hands with fiance Tom Bernthal.

3. Stacey Bendet. The designer and CEO of fashion brand Alice + Olivia veered away from the vaguely sporty-casual dress code that prevails at this "billionaire's summer camp", showcasing a full-on 1970s look that many of those present will remember from the first time round.

4. John Donahoe. Quick, hide your Adidas and Under Armour logos! The Nike boss is in town.

5. David Zaslav. The Discovery Communications chief landed fresh from Discovery's announcement of a merger with HBO-owner WarnerMedia, meaning if Succession ever gets cancelled, we can blame him.