Interviews from the Business Roundtable CEO Innovation Summit Today

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The following are excerpts from CNBC’s Becky Quick live interviews from the Business Roundtable CEO Innovation Summit in Washington D.C. airing throughout the day across CNBC Business Day programming today Thursday, December 6th. Excerpts and video below include: The Boeing Company President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg; AT&T Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Randall Stephenson; IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty; and Walmart Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon.

The full transcript of Becky’s interview with JP Morgan Chase Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon is available: here.

CNBC is the exclusive broadcaster of the Business Roundtable CEO Innovation Summit.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

The Boeing Company President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg


Dennis Muilenberg on Volatility:

What you see is some local volatility again in the market because of some trade uncertainty. And we’re hopeful coming out of the G20 Summit that we’re on the path to finding a trade agreement with China’s that going to be productive for both the U.S. and China. It’s a really important marketplace for us. If you think about aerospace, it’s an $8.1 trillion marketplace over the next ten years. The world needs about $43,000 new commercial airplanes over the next 20 years and about 7,700 of those are in China. It’s the fastest-growing market. So very important to us.

Dennis Muilenberg on as China/U.S. Growth:

As China grows, it’s allowing us to grow in the U.S. as well. You know, treat thing about our aerospace industry model is we’re a big exporter. So we’re the sector that creates the biggest trade surplus for the U.S., about an $80 billion to $90 billion a year trade surplus. We export about 80% of commercial airplanes that we build. And about 90% of the jobs associated with that are in the U.S. So it’s a great manufacturing jobs generator in the U.S.

Dennis Muilenberg on China/U.S. Talks:

Well, I’m encouraged by the dialogue we heard. And I think both President Trump and President Xi are motivated to find a solution. I think they’ve had a productive conversation. I’ve had the opportunity over the last couple of days to talk with Secretary Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow as well. And I think they’ve indicated a positive outcome is ahead of us. There’s still some hard work to do on topics like intellectual property and technology transfer. But I think both countries are motivated to find a solution.

Dennis Muilenberg on Backlog:

This aerospace industry is a decades-long view. Today, we have a backlog of about 5,800 commercial airplanes. That’s the equivalent of seven years of production. So while it’s important for us to resolve the tactical trade matters, we also have to keep the long-term view on our production planning. And the fact that we have these healthy backlogs, that they’re globally diverse allows us to continue to invest and ramp up.

Dennis Muilenberg on Investment:

We invest for the future. The great benefits that we’ve recently received from tax reform here in the U.S. are allowing us to further invest in innovation. We’re investing more in R&D and capital today than we ever have. We’re growing for the future. And this aerospace market is going to continue to grow. Passenger traffic around the world is growing 6% to 7% a year. That’s a long-term sustained trend. That’s what is going to allow us to fuel the future. So we pay attention to this local volatility but the long-term planning, long-term innovation investment, is what makes this business work.

Dennis Muilenberg on the Lion Air Accident:

We’re taking a look at that to make sure all of the appropriate training is in place and that the communications with our customers are there. It’s very, very important to us. But I will say bottom line here, very important, is that the 737 Max is safe. We’re very confident in that. We have not changed our design philosophy. These are airplanes that handled well in the control of the pilots, they’re designed the same way our previous 737’s are.

AT&T Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Randall Stephenson


Randall Stephenson on Downturn Talk:

It feels like we are almost talking ourselves into a downturn because all of us — all of the CEOs that are out here all talk and say, “Things feel pretty good here in the U.S.” There are markets outside the U.S. that are feeling some difficulty but the U.S. Feels good. The consumer seems healthy. The consumer is spending during the holiday season. Businesses are investing. But a lot of people, and myself included, say, “We see clouds on the horizon, and you know, those clouds are derivatives of trade discussions.”

Randall Stephenson on 5G:

We are investing very aggressively in 5g. I’m happy to say the United States is leading the charge. Verizon is going hard. We and Verizon are having our typical contest of who’s getting there first, which I think is good for America, good for the industry. So 5g is requiring a lot of capital as well.

Randall Stephenson on Deploying 5G:

There’s probably not going to be broad enough deployment of networks that somebody would find a 5g phone generally useful. I think as we exit 2019 and we turn more and more markets up on a mobile 5g platform, people are going to want a 5g phone. I think it’s into 2019. And particularly if you are in a market where we have turned the service up, you’ll want that. I think you’re going to see businesses more than anything in the early stages clamoring for 5g capabilities.

Randall Stephenson on Streaming Services:

It’s going to be an interesting three or four years coming up. Disney is launching their direct consumer product. We’ll be launching our direct consumer product. We each have significant — a lot of content that has been licensed out to other people, not just to Netflix, but licensed out to other players in this ecosystem. And as we begin to pull our product together, we’re going to want some of that content to put on our platforms. I think this world is going to change dramatically as we all get into this on a direct to consumer basis.

IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty

Video: Available on later today.

Ginni Rometty on AI Spending:

We do agree some that some more spending is needed in places. I think that everyone is in agreement though that some of the number one things are to more organize what it is we are doing. It is one of the biggest things where you can organize — we have national labs in this country. What do they do for AI? Get that organized. One of the biggest pressing needs on Ai is an ethical framework. And a responsible framework for AI. It is one of the inhibiters. Because you’re balancing commercial use with security issues.

Ginni Rometty on Regulation:

One of the things that slows the economy down, it is regulation. So you only want to regulate a problem. Don’t overregulate. And I think what we stand is if a company does mishandle data, we don’t want to be in a position where we take sledge hammer as I said overregulation, instead where are the problems, regulate the problems.

Ginni Rometty on Huawei:

And I can’t speak to their situation but I do know if you’re going to play across the world as an example we obey the laws. So we obey the export laws that are here. And that’s an important part of being able to play on a global stage.

Ginni Rometty on IBM:

And you look at is it always about growth as we’ve looked at our business. We both transitioned mission critical work past to future and to the cloud. And so really our role is about being a high value company but doing things that are both today’s current mission critical work, as you and I have always talked about, and transitioning clients to the future. And I think we’ve have placed our bets in the right ways. And you have seen us make progress. As you saw us return to growth, you saw our margins return after we made all of these investments. And so I think we now need to show that, and continue to consistently perform.

Walmart Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon

Video: Available on later today.

Doug McMillon on Tariffs:

It creates uncertainty as it relates to pricing. It causes us to start thinking about where we want to source good from. We buy more merchandise made in the u.s.a. Here by far, but china is second on that list. So we worry about next spring, nextsummer, next fall, what customers will have to pay if tariffs do escalate.

Doug McMillon on Consumer:

It’s been a good year. You know, our q3 results with a 3.4% comp, and growing ecommerce by 43% was good. We believe the consumer is in good shape. We hear the news, we have these same concerns you guys talk about all of the time. But as it relates to the consumer we are in good shape.

Doug McMillon on Digital Change:

We have a lot of work going on to change the company. The company is becoming more digital, we are changing how we work from within to get faster, more nimble and adapting to what’s happening in retail. Those plans result in lower cost. We have been lowering prices for customers. We need to keep doing that.

Doug McMillon on Wages:

Wages are continuing to go up. I mean, we’ve raised our wages in the U.S, our starting wage rate, 50% in the last three years. That continues to go up market by market. These days, we are looking at cities, we are looking at states and making adjustments where we need to to get the talent that we want. But we are not just focused on starting wages and hiring new associates into the business, we’ve invested in training. We have 200 training academies across the United States that are teaching people retail skills, they’re teaching them soft skills, how to interview, how to coach, things like that. We want to retain people.

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