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The Bloomberg View CEO Challenge, the Final Four

A No. 10 seed is still alive and kicking. When's the last time that happened?

We're down to the Final Four in the Bloomberg View CEO Challenge, and, not surprisingly, they're all heavyweights: Tim Cook, Howard Schultz, Reed Hastings and Jeff Bezos. Fun fact: Two teams in the NCAA men's basketball Final Four, Gonzaga and Oregon, are from the Pacific Northwest, a region rarely represented. So are our two Seattle CEOs, Schultz and Bezos. Tell us what you think of our picks, and vote for the championship round in the comment section. We'll post our last match on Friday, and our winner on Monday.

CEO Challenge Final Four

Let’s give him credit: No one expected Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, a No. 24 seed, to make it to the Elite Eight. But if you’re going to get to the Final Four, you have to have earnings — lots of earnings. Salesforce turned its first profit last year since 2011. Tim Cook and Apple had earnings of $45.7 billion.

It’s been a rough year for Rupert Murdoch, with the departure of Roger Ailes, the longtime Fox News head, who was accused of sexually harassing female employees, and the loss of the on-air star Megyn Kelly to NBC. As Starbucks continues to expand, Howard “Let’s-Bring-the-Country-Together” Schultz has promised to hire 10,000 refugees and 25,000 more veterans. Plus, Starbucks’ market cap is $25 billion higher than Twenty-First Century Fox's.

Posting fake news. Facing ongoing privacy complaints. Blocking iconic photographs. Dealing with never-ending antitrust investigations in Europe. As Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has grown, so have its problems. Meanwhile, the only people complaining about Netflix are TV executives, who are jealous of the $6 billion it is spending on content this year. And Reed Hastings is, hands down, the best chief executive in Silicon Valley.

Now that he’s king of all retail, Jeff Bezos is pushing Amazon into the streaming video business, offering movies and original TV shows to Amazon Prime members for free. Get ready to have your lunch eaten, Les Moonves and CBS.

(Corrects erroneous reference to Salesforce earnings in second paragraph.)

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    To contact the author of this story:
    Joe Nocera at jnocera3@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    Jonathan Landman at jlandman4@bloomberg.net

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