Fortt Knox



Jon Fortt co-anchors Squawk Alley on CNBC, and has covered technology and innovation for more than 15 years. Fortt Knox brings you rich ideas and powerful people. Guests include Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Accenture CEO of North America Julie Sweet, Olympic champion Michael Phelps, and Broadway veteran Rory O'Malley (Hamilton, The Book of Mormon). Join Jon's conversations with power brokers on how they made it, what they value, and what makes them tick.


  • 147 - New Life for Fortt Knox on LinkedIn and YouTube. See You There!

    26/09/2020 Duración: 02min should have posted this way earlier, but I've been getting questions. Here's the skinny: Fortt Knox is not dead. It's just been reborn. Instead of living in your favorite podcast app, Fortt Knox now lives on LinkedIn and YouTube. Now you can see video of my interviews, and engage with a broader community of Fortt Knox viewers. I stream my interviews live, and the recordings are there for on-demand viewing. I also serve up curated insights from the interviews -- there's something new from Fortt Knox in my Jon Fortt LinkedIn feed just about every weekday, and pretty often on the Fortt Knox channel on YouTube, too. Beyond that, Fortt Knox is taking on new life -- it's a weekly newsletter distributed through my profile on LinkedIn's platform. So if you don't have time to check in with me every day, you can get a weekly roundup of the latest goings on in tech, leadership and innovation, and find out what's coming next.

  • 146 - AWS CEO Andy Jassy on JEDI, the Cloud's Future and More

    07/12/2019 Duración: 45min

    In the late 1990s, Andy Jassy pitched a wild idea to his boss and mentor, Jeff Bezos: What if Amazon developed another business, delivering computing power and storage . Two decades later, it stands as Amazon’s most profitable division – one that Jassy continues to lead as CEO of Amazon Web Services. I sat down with Jassy in a broadcast exclusive at the company’s annual AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas to talk about Amazon’s lead in the cloud today, the controversy surrounding the Pentagon’s awarding of the highly sought-after JEDI contract to Microsoft (and Amazon’s lawsuit in response), the lessons learned from the company’s failed HQ2 attempt in New York City and more.

  • 145 - Trump and Apple’s CEO Talk Business in Texas

    23/11/2019 Duración: 29min

    A walk to remember. Apple CEO Tim Cook and President Donald Trump in Texas this week, and it’s a high stakes photo op. They’re at the factory in Austin Texas where Apple’s Mac Pro computer is assembled.  Cook no doubt wants to make it hard for the president to put tariffs on Mac Pro components. Cook has said unless they continue to be exempt from tariffs, he’ll have to move manufacturing completely to China. The president wants to push Apple and U.S. CEOs more broadly to manufacture here instead of in China.  But I think this whole scene is a bit of a sham. I’ll tell you why. Joining me this week, Ina Fried, chief tech correspondent at Axios. We’ve got more than Trump and Cook, we’ve got Disney Plus hacking, Microsoft teaming up on Slack, and more.  

  • 144 - A Fresh Look at Design: Melanie Perkins, co-founder and CEO of Canva

    10/11/2019 Duración: 19min

    I was on the road this week, doing a little tour of California. Three cities in three days. San Francisco Monday, L.A. Tuesday, San Diego Wednesday. Adobe’s MAX conference was this week in LA, where the creative software giant unveils its latest features.  Well, everybody’s got challengers, and one of Adobe’s is a startup called Canva. Canva has emerged to help regular folks add high-end creative flair to their presentations. Even better, it was founded by a young woman in Australia who was looking for a way to make yearbooks in the digital era. It turned into something much bigger than she envisioned. I sat down with Melanie Perkins at the New York Stock Exchange recently to talk about how how her design project turned into a profitable, venture-backed brand that’s earned praise from legendary tech watcher and investor Mary Meeker among others.  This week, my one-on-one with the co-founder and CEO of Canva, Melanie Perkins.  

  • 143 - Microsoft JEDI: The Empire Strikes Back; with Morgan Brennan

    02/11/2019 Duración: 25min

    It's the biggest single cloud contract … possibly ever. Definitely the most talked about. The Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract. JEDI, going to: Microsoft late last week. The Empire Strikes Back. The JEDI contract is worth up to 10 billion dollars over 10 years, but just as valuable as the money: It's worth bragging rights and street cred. This was supposed to be Amazon's contract to lose. Amazon practically invented enterprise cloud computing 14 years ago with AWS. When the Pentagon put out the requirements for the contract a year and a half ago, some competitors cried foul that it was too tailored to Amazon. Is this a game changer in the cloud wars? With me this week, co-anchor of CNBC's Squawk Alley, Morgan Brennan. 

  • 142 - Mr. Zuckerberg Goes to Washington: with John Stanton and Farhad Manjoo

    26/10/2019 Duración: 26min

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Washington this week arguing for Libra, the digital currency his company created and wants to build around. This after he last week made the case in front of an audience at Georgetown University that Facebook’s future, its past, its reason for being are all tied up in free speech. With me this week for another bite out of this Facebook and free speech debate: John Stanton, the cofounder of the Save Journalism Project, and Farhad Manjoo, columnist for the New York Times.

  • 141 - Tech's Free Speech Challenge

    19/10/2019 Duración: 26min

    Tech just can’t get away from politics.  Senator Elizabeth Warren has a bone to pick with Facebook. Mainly its standards for political ads. After Facebook refused to take down a Trump Campaign ad that accused former vice president Joe Biden of wrongdoing connected to his son Hunter’s work in Ukraine, Warren fired back. She posted her own Facebook ad that started with a false claim that Facebook and founder Mark Zuckerberg have endorsed Trump for re-election.  A little farther afield, Activision Blizzard is caught out in the storm of controversy around Hong Kong. Chung Ng Wai, a Hearthstone player, was removed from a tournament, denied prize money and banned for a year for saying in a post-game interview, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!” ATVI has since softened a little, saying they’ll let him have his 10,000 dollars prize money and ban him for just six months.  With me this week to talk free speech and more: from LA, Mike Jackson is CEO and principal at Motus One and founder of 2050 Marketing. Her

  • 140 - Savings and Startups: Credit Carma CEO Ken Lin; Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman

    13/10/2019 Duración: 42min

    It’s hard to save money these days – and I’m not talking about the new phones and earbuds that come out this time of year and tempt you to spend. Interest rates are really low. Which is great if you’re borrowing to buy a house or a car, but not so awesome if you want to save. The interest rate for the typical U.S. savings account is 9 hundredths of a percent.  But! All is not lost. For a long time there have been higher rates for savers, even from mainstream banks. Now a young and scrappy group of tech startups are pushing the boundaries further with interest rates at about 2% – that’s 20 times higher than average. It’s the difference between earning 16 bucks a month on 10 thousand dollars in savings, or earning just 75 cents.  That’s just the beginning. There are cheaper ways to trade stocks, ways to make money off of credit cards. Today we’re going to help you put a plan together.  With me this week, CNBC’s personal finance expert Sharon Epperson. And Kenneth Lin, CEO of Credit Karma, which has just announc

  • 139 - Microsoft's Dual-Screen Surface: Winner? With Patrick Moorhead

    06/10/2019 Duración: 24min

    We’ve got a blockbuster hardware announcement this week … from Microsoft. The biggest hardware risk the company has taken since Xbox. Surface Neo, two screens with a hinge in between, coming next year. And there’s more. Surface Pro X, arguably the first ARM-based computer to run full Windows 10. Has Microsoft changed the game here? Or are these cool gadgets that won’t really sell? With me this week, one of my favorite guys to talk hardware, Pat Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategies. Let’s talk Microsoft vs. the rest of the field and then hit some other headlines in consumer electronics.

  • 138 - When to Fire a Founder, with Walter Isaacson and Steven Levy

    28/09/2019 Duración: 26min

    WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann resigned from the CEO role this week, in the face of skepticism about the coworking startup’s plans to go public. There are questions about the business model – we’ve addressed some of those here on Fortt Knox. There are questions about his eccentric leadership style. And there are questions about the way he’s maintained control of the company while taking lots of money out of it.  WeWork is in the headlines this week, but we’ve lived through versions of this story before. Uber’s board of directors pushed co-founder Travis Kalanick out of the CEO role to get the IPO done. The Google founders brought in Eric Schmidt early on as CEO to act as adult supervision. The biggie: Apple cofounder Steve Jobs was effectively forced out of Apple in the ‘80s only to come back a decade later to save the company.  We love founders. Their stories and personalities live at the heart of companies. But sometimes they’ve got to go. When? When is firing a founder a mistake? With me this week, tech ch

  • 137 - Employees or Contractors? Gig Economy’s Labor Crisis

    21/09/2019 Duración: 26min

    Days ago California lawmakers passed a bill, AB5, that would force more companies to treat more workers as employees, not contractors. What’s the big deal? The gig economy. Whether it’s Uber and Lyft, or Postmates and Doordash, or TaskRabbit and Instacart, a slew of companies have grown up in the smartphone era with a radical idea. When just about everyone has a smartphone and a credit card, you can assemble a workforce on a moment’s notice, pay workers electronically, and let them be independent contractors. They can work as much or as little as they want! But just because employers can do this doesn’t mean they should. And that’s what we’re going to debate today.  With me this week: Two professionals who have driven for Uber and Lyft and have different opinions about what should happen here.  Karim Bayumi is out of LA. He says drivers like him – he’s driven 5 to 6 days a week for the platforms – deserve the protections of employee status, and the companies can’t be trusted to provide that without a law.  Ha

  • 136 - Apple's iPhone 11 and More: Boom or Bust?

    14/09/2019 Duración: 32min

    Apple's iPhone extravaganza is still the biggest product event of the year for a simple reason: The iPhone remains the single most successful hardware product of the PC era. We can talk about whether sales are growing or not, whether Apple is innovating or not. But Apple still sells more premium phones every year than anyone else.   So what happened this week? Three new iPhones announced, the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and Pro Max. A new Apple Watch with a screen that doesn't turn off. A new entry-level iPad. And two services at $4.99 a month, Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus.  What does all of this mean? Should you pay $300 more for three cameras on the back instead of two? Does the watch update matter? And can Apple out-HBO HBO?  With me this week: A great lineup of people who know their stuff. Walt Mossberg, the godfather of tech reviews, is going to talk big picture from DC. Tech analyst extraordinaire Pat Moorhead and tech strategist Shelly Palmer are going to sift through and tell us which they think are the most

  • 135 - Can Tech Save the NFL? Plus, Rapper Jim Jones on His New Pot Venture

    10/09/2019 Duración: 45min

    The National Football League was on the brink last year. Not of death – let’s not talk crazy, now – but of the type of loss of relevance that has humbled baseball and boxing over the past generation or so.   But now as the NFL's 100th season kicks off this week, there's a sense of fresh energy. And I would argue that if football's going to make a full comeback, technology is going to have to play a big role. First, a word about where we've been. Football was the undisputed champ of the major sports leagues, popularity-wise. But between critical tweets from President Trump, fans angry about players kneeling during the anthem, fans angry that Colin Kaepernick doesn't have a job after kneeling, concerns about player concussions and safety, the spotlight was withering.  Now things appear to be turning. The NFL struck a deal with Jay-Z's Roc Nation to promote music and merchandise that will benefit social justice causes, possibly addressing the move for player activism. The owners and players are already at the ta

  • 134 - Segment CEO Peter Reinhardt; Plus, Marvel’s Spider-Man Divorce and Streaming Wars

    31/08/2019 Duración: 52min

    Summer’s coming to a close, and that means the streaming wars are about to get a lot more real. Apple released a trailer for The Morning Show, one of the big series slated to hit its Apple TV Plus service this fall. Disney just gave us more details behind its slate of shows for the Disney Plus service that launches in November; and Disney and Sony get a movie divorce … and Sony gets custody of Spider-Man.  And later on the 1-on-1: Peter Reinhardt is the CEO of Segment, a startup that helps companies make sense of customer data. The company has raised more than $280 million and is worth more than $1 billion, but the path hasn't always been smooth.

  • 133 - Goodbye IPO, Hello Direct Listing?

    27/08/2019 Duración: 25min

    15 years ago this week, Google had its IPO. Initial Public Offering. That means shares of its stock were available to buy for the first time. I was working as a tech reporter in Silicon Valley at the time and remember it was a big deal for a couple of reasons. One, Google’s IPO was a glimmer of hope after the dotcom bust. Two, Google was trying to reinvent the IPO by making it more transparent. They used a process called a Dutch Auction.   Today the IPO hasn’t changed for the most part. But maybe it’s about to. Prominent venture capitalist Michael Mortiz of Sequoia Capital wrote an op-Ed this week arguing that Slack and Spotify are leading the way to a better day where Wall Street fat cats won’t control and mystify the process of going public. But what would that mean for mom-and-pop investors? What would it mean for startup employees looking to make good?  This week to talk the future of the IPO I’ve got Mr. IPO, Jay Ritter, University of Florida Cordell Professor of Finance. Also joining me later on here at

  • 132 - The WeWork IPO: Why the Controversy?

    17/08/2019 Duración: 24min

    I’ve got a business idea. I’m going to take out loans to rent a bunch of apartments around the world. Two-year leases. Then I’m going to decorate them with a super-cool modern vibe … snacks, premium soaps, entertainment spaces… and Airbnb them by the week and half week to vacationers and business travelers for less than they’d pay for a hotel room.  But wait, you say. You’re signing up for two-year leases and only getting commitments in the days and weeks. What if the economy goes bad? What if your landlords raise the rent? What if you try to grow too fast, and your loan payments go up? Funny you should ask. WeWork’s parent company just filed for an IPO this week, and WeWork’s business model sounds a lot like the one I just described, only it’s office space, not apartments. Is it a good bet? We’re gonna talk WeWork, we’re gonna talk Viacom/CBS, Disney/Fox, Yahoo/Tumblr, Twitch/Mixr – all kinds of things that come in twos.

  • 131 - Apple Card: How the Cash and Features Stack Up

    11/08/2019 Duración: 22min

    Let's talk money. Apple, the tech giant, the iPhone maker, this week launched … a credit card. That's right, Apple Card, linked to Apple Pay. Apple's pitch with the card? It starts with cash and goes deep with security and design. This week we're going to take a closer look at the card and the app … which I have seen up close. And we're going to compare it to the deals and features you can get elsewhere. Is it really a good deal?  With me this week: Sara Rathner from NerdWallet – a site that studies these kinds of things – and joining us a bit later, CNBC's Dierdre Bosa.

  • 130 - Monopoly: Are Apple, Google, Facebook & Amazon Fair Game?

    03/08/2019 Duración: 30min

    The problem with the Monopoly board game is that only one person ends up happy in the last half hour of the game, and everyone else is miserable.  If you believe tech critics, some of the biggest companies in the industry have figured out a way around this unhappy ending in real life: Each one of these multi-billion-dollar juggernauts has its own mini-monopoly. Google gets to rule search engines, Facebook gets social networks, Amazon gets e-commerce and Apple gets expensive phones … made by Apple … or something. I really don't get any of the arguments that Apple has a monopoly on anything.  Why does this matter?   One could argue – and I know this because I'm about to – that the tech companies that are in the antitrust crosshairs are more central to our everyday lives than any group of accused monopolists in history. This isn't a bunch of railroads or oil companies. This is the app you use all day to talk to your friends and family. The phone you use to fire up that app. The service you use to search for the

  • 129 - Facebook’s $5 billion speeding ticket, with NYT's Farhad Manjoo

    27/07/2019 Duración: 27min

    Five billion dollars. That’s how much Facebook will have to fork over to the government under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. It’s the biggest fine for violating user privacy by a wide margin – 200 times bigger than the previous record, according to the FTC chair.   If I got hit with a 5 billion dollar speeding ticket, it would hurt. I’m not going to lie. But some are already saying the settlement doesn’t go far enough.   So. After this settlement, can Facebook say it has paid its debt to society? Or did Zuckerberg and company just make out like bandits?  And: What does this say about privacy regulators’ ability to effectively walk the beat in Silicon Valley? With me this week to shake me out of my vacation-induced stupor: Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times.

  • 128 - Putting a Dollar Value on Personal Data, with CNBC's Josh Lipton

    29/06/2019 Duración: 23min

    Here’s the thing: It’s really hard to put a dollar value on the data that you or I deliver to internet platforms. What’s the value of a tweet? A Facebook profile that tells my birthday and links to my closest relatives?   It’s even hard to put a value on the data the platforms have on all of us. Sure, it’s probably worth billions of dollars. But how many billions? Does the value of data go up over time like a house, or down over time, like a car?  Our first topic is the value of data, because Democratic Senator Mark Warner and Republican Senator Josh Hawley want to require big tech companies to report the value of our data, like an asset, and would instruct the Securities and Exchange Commission to come up with a formula for calculating how much the data is worth.   Joining me to discuss that and a lot more: CNBC’s own Josh Lipton.  

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