Business Monday: Fortune Brainstorm Tech invades Aspen |

Business Monday: Fortune Brainstorm Tech invades Aspen

Adam Lashinsky, Fortune magazine's executive editor and the editorial director of Brainstorm Tech, will be among the interviewers at this week's conference in Aspen.
Courtesy Photo

When Fortune Brainstorm Tech was held in Aspen in 2010, one of the big conversation topics was the brave new world of a booming technology: cellphones.

“The one thing that stands out, we spent a lot of time talking about the importance of mobile phones,” recalled Adam Lashinsky, Fortune magazine’s executive editor and the editorial director of Brainstorm Tech, an invitation-only event that runs today through Wednesday in Aspen with some of the biggest names in retail and technology. “And if you think about it, this was only three years after the introduction of the iPhone (in 2007), and at that point, the iPhone was still on AT&T exclusively in the U.S., so if you weren’t on AT&T, you didn’t have an iPhone.”

Suffice it to say, the technological revolution continues to evolve, and this week’s discussions will tackle the latest matters that keep executives up at night — among them artificial intelligence, drones, regulation and antitrust issues, and privacy concerns.

Wal-Mart President and CEO Doug McMillon will be the first to take the stage, along with interviewer Lashinsky, at 2:05 p.m. today. They’ll discuss how the Arkansas-based retail behemoth stays on top of the demands of not only being a brick-and-mortar chain of stores, but how it stays on top of marketing efforts and the digital challenges of having pick-up and delivery services.

The event closes at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, with Lashinsky interviewing Joseph Van Valen, of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Among support staff, participants, media members and others, Lashinsky said the conference will draw about 600 people to Aspen. Its headquarters are at the St. Regis Aspen Resort, but events are held at additional venues in town.

Visitors to the conference tend to stick around for the conference longer than if it were held in a larger market, Lashinsky noted.

“We recognize Aspen is more difficult to get to than many big cities with major airports,” he said. “And over time we’ve found that it works to our great advantage because when people come here they tend to stay.”

Other speakers include founder and CEO Beth Ford of Land O’Lakes, Margo Georgiadis of Ancestry, Jeffrey Katzenberg of WndrCo, Ynon Kreiz of Mattel, Patrick Spence of Sonos, and Meg Whitman of Quibi, as well as David Baszucki, chief executive officer, Roblox; Dorian Daley, EVP and general counsel, Oracle; Karen Francis DeGolia, lead director, Telenav; Aicha Evans, CEO, Zoox; John Hanke, CEO, Niantic Inc; Pam Kostka, CEO, All Raise; Arvind Krishna, senior vice president, Cloud and Cognitive Software, IBM; Katrina Lake, CEO, StichFix; Maria Lensing, vice president, Healthcare Solutions; Vincent Letteri, managing director, Private Equity & TMT Growth, KKR; Othman Laraki, CEO, Color; Brandon Newell, chair, Mobility Transformation Working Group, U.S. Marine Corps; Mark Mahaney, managing director, Internet, RBC Capital Markets; Tekedra Mawakana, chief external officer, Waymo; Sara Menker, CEO, GroIntelligence; Alex Norstrom, chief premium business officer, Spotify; Hester Peirce, commissioner, SEC; David Richter, chief business officer, Lime; Lior Ron, co-founder, Otto, and head of freight, Uber; Ned Segal, CFO, Twitter; James Siminoff, founder and chief inventor, Ring; Richard Socher, chief scientist, Salesforce; Krysta Svore, head, Quantum Architectures and Computation Group, Microsoft; Hans Tung, managing partner, GGV Capital; and Dominic Williams, founder and president, DFINITY.

The conference will be livestreamed at

Videos from the conference will be available at