One of tech's most prominent journalists, Kara Swisher is known for her insightful reporting and straight-shooting style. Listen in as she hosts hard-hitting interviews about the week in tech with influential business leaders and outspoken personalities from media, politics and more.
July 26, 2017
Live onstage: Uber SVP Frances Frei talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about the future of the beleaguered ride-hailing company. Frei came to Uber from Harvard Business School, where she studied leadership and diversity, and says the company's problems are neither unusual nor unfixable. Uber's employees want to do the right thing, she explains, but have been historically let down by management and not given an outlet to call out bad behavior. Frei also talks about why she rejects Uber board member Arianna Huffington's concept of "zero tolerance," why ex-CEO Travis Kalanick can be redeemed and how to fix the broader epidemic of sexual harassment in Silicon Valley.
July 24, 2017
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker talks with Recode’s Tony Romm about the current state of politics under President Trump and how he thinks the U.S. government should respond to the tech sector. Booker says he’s eager to see Trump gone, but that Democrats can’t solely define themselves as the “resistance” and shouldn’t sink to his level of online vitriol. He argues that Congress should take a skeptical look at the consolidation of companies like Amazon and Whole Foods, and not accept at face value that tech’s role should be “to create a handful of billionaires”; instead, Booker says, protecting consumers and broadening America’s access to science and technology should be the top priorities.
July 17, 2017
Parc CEO Tolga Kurtoglu talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about leading the iconic Silicon Valley research and development firm, formerly known as Xerox Parc, which works with companies and government agencies to imagine the future of work. Kurtoglu says Parc is thinking a lot about how humans and artificial intelligence agents will work together and how to build a “trustable” AI that can explain how it reaches its conclusions. He also talks about why Silicon Valley has held on to its leadership in tech innovation and what responsibilities the tech sector has as its creations disrupt established industries and eliminate jobs.
July 10, 2017
"Bears in the Streets" author Lisa Dickey talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about her new book, which chronicles three trips to Russia at three very different times in its history — 1995, 2005 and 2015. Dickey's first journey across the continent was a pioneering work of digital photography and early web publishing, while her later trips illuminated how tech, politics and everything else was changing. She says Americans get a lot wrong about the Russian people and Russians get a lot wrong about Americans, but the two countries have more in common than they realize. Dickey shares some of the strangest stories from her visits to the country, including an unexpectedly contentious trip to see the Matt Damon movie "The Martian" and arguments over whether 9/11 was an inside job.
July 3, 2017
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, now a venture capitalist at Greylock Partners, talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about why Silicon Valley has remained the epicenter of tech for decades and what’s next for entrepreneurs, investors and consumers. Hoffman explains why LinkedIn sold itself to Microsoft, why Airbnb hasn’t gone public yet and why he believes everyone in politics and business should adopt the “Spider-Man” motto: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Later in the show, he discusses his increasing involvement in liberal politics and his enduring friendship with conservative Trump supporter Peter Thiel, whom Hoffman met as a college undergraduate.
June 26, 2017
Fortune Executive Editor Adam Lashinsky talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new book "Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination." In this live interview, recorded after Travis Kalanick had announced a leave of absence from Uber but before he resigned as CEO, Lashinsky talks about trying to find Kalanick's "Rosebud" and why he didn't discover the now-infamous dark side of Uber's culture that was exposed by Susan Fowler and other former employees. He says despite the brand being "severely tarnished," Uber can reshape its corporate culture and bounce back because "[not] every person is rotten."
June 25, 2017
In this special bonus episode from the 2017 Code Conference, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how the nonprofit has dealt with controversy and political opposition under President Trump. Republicans in Washington are attempting to limit the organization, which Richards says would undermine access to local health services and cause the rates of STIs and abortions to go up. Planned Parenthood will continue to exist even if the GOP's health care bill passes, she says, but it's still fighting to remain a public benefit, with funds for most of its services being reimbursed by the government. Richards also talks about how her team uses social media and texting and why she wants to use drones to air-drop birth control.
June 19, 2017
In this live interview, Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how Oracle transitioned its business to the cloud, which is the fastest-growing segment of all enterprise spending. Hurd says a large, process-laden company like Oracle can't risk getting complacent and out-innovated by smaller startups, and had to weather some unhappy investors on Wall Street for many quarters because building out cloud services takes time and money. He also talks about immigration policy, job automation and why Steve Jobs once told him he would hate to have Hurd's job.
June 17, 2017
In this special bonus episode from the 2017 Code Conference, Jill Soloway, the creator of the Amazon TV series "Transparent," talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about their new show, "I Love Dick," which stars Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Hahn. They say Amazon is more hands-off than traditional TV networks and has helped diversify the female characters we see on TV. Soloway's company, Topple Productions, is aimed at disrupting the "white male gaze" and giving power to creators who otherwise might not have it, and they recall how, after losing twice at the Golden Globes, Jeff Bezos encouraged them to keep effecting social change through storytelling.
June 12, 2017
L2 founder and New York University professor Scott Galloway talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how the biggest companies in tech are disrupting retail, jobs, advertising and more. Galloway says the U.S. is incredibly "over-stored" and predicts that Amazon is well positioned to quadruple what its Prime customers spend. He also explains why most brands should worry about their future stability, and what a handful — including Apple and Disney — have done right to defend themselves. Later in the show, Galloway grades how Google, Facebook, Netflix and more are doing and makes the case for executive changes at Uber and Snapchat.
June 10, 2017
In this special bonus episode from the 2017 Code Conference, former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and The Verge's Walt Mossberg about the mistakes she made during the campaign and what she thinks in hindsight about criticism of her private email server and paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton says "anti-American forces" are continually trying to undermine America's security and unity and that she believes saboteurs from Russia were directly aided by Americans, likely including Donald Trump. She criticizes Facebook's spreading of "fake news" and the eagerness of the media to amplify Trump's message, but also the failures of the Democratic National Committee's "poor" data campaign in 2016 as contributing factors to her defeat. Looking forward, Clinton says she's "hopeful" that Democrats will regain control of the House of Representatives in 2018 and "hold [our] own" in the Senate.
June 5, 2017
Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about why he's still working at Facebook five years after it bought his company for $1 billion. Systrom shares what he has learned from the executives there and why he insisted from day one that his new colleagues not call Instagram a "photo-sharing app" — which surprised Mark Zuckerberg. He also addresses allegations that Instagram has "copied" features from Snapchat, saying no tech product is completely original and that it's better for consumers if companies in the same space are constantly trying to one-up each other. Later in the show, Systrom explains why he feels personally responsible to make the internet a safer place, and what he's doing toward that goal.
May 29, 2017
Anki CEO Boris Sofman talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about the future of robotics and why his company is starting with robots that entertain people: The artificially intelligent toy cars Anki Drive, released in 2013, and the emotive pet-like Cozmo, which came out in 2016. Sofman says designing for cuteness makes it easier for humans to accept when the robot makes an error, and is a low-risk way to make all robots better at skills like computer vision. He also talks about the current state of self-driving cars and why the biggest danger robots currently pose to humanity is being misused by human operators.
May 22, 2017
Facebook's messaging products boss, David Marcus, talks with Recode's Kurt Wagner about how the company is trying turn its Messenger app into a hub for interactions between companies and consumers. Marcus explains what Facebook learned from last year's rollout of "bots" on the platform and why the latest tools are poised to be more useful. He also explains why Facebook is not planning to take a cut of purchases made within Messenger and how it's balancing plans to inject ads into the app with users' privacy.
May 15, 2017
Stripe CEO Patrick Collison talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how the company he and his brother started in 2010 evolved from a service for other small startups into a global payments platform for companies of all sizes. He discusses why Stripe recently hired a new security head, DARPA alum Peiter Zatko, and why our data is safer in the hands of companies like Google and Facebook than it is with hospitals or telecom giants. Collison also argues that U.S. immigration policy, and restrictive housing policies in the San Francisco Bay Area, are imperiling Silicon Valley's ability to continually innovate in the future.
May 10, 2017
"The Handmaid's Tale" creator and showrunner Bruce Miller talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new adaptation of the dystopian Margaret Atwood novel, which recently debuted on Hulu. Miller discusses the aptness of the show's political themes, and why he's excited to tell stories beyond the ones explicitly laid out in Atwood's text. He also chats about the impact that tech companies like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have had on Hollywood, and weighs the benefits of TV's golden age against the risk that viewers might start to get impatient as they binge through high-quality content faster than it can be made.
May 8, 2017
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about her new book, "Option B," which she wrote after the sudden death of her husband, entrepreneur Dave Goldberg. This latest book is more raw than her first, "Lean In," combining Sandberg's personal journal entries with research about all kinds of adversity, as explained by her co-author, psychologist Adam Grant. Sandberg explains what most people get wrong about grief and how to talk to those who are in mourning. She also calls for a reexamination of corporate and public policies around parental leave, health care and bereavement.
May 4, 2017
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai talks with Recode's Tony Romm about his first three months on the job and what critics of his plan to roll back Obama-era net neutrality rules get wrong. Pai says the FCC should be an apolitical agency that focuses on how to create the most "digital opportunity" for everyone and that preemptively regulating how ISPs compete with one another isn't appropriate. He also discusses his relationships with both Congress and Donald Trump, who he says has not meddled at all in the agency's decisions.
May 1, 2017
Stacey Mindich and Steven Levenson, the producer and book writer of "Dear Evan Hansen," talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about how the hit Broadway musical depicts the current state of social media and isolation. The show centers on a socially anxious teenager who tells a big lie about a dead classmate, and Levenson says it asks a question that's just as potent in the real world: Through the internet, can something fake turn into something real? Mindich talks about how the story of "Dear Evan Hansen" evolved to speak to multiple generations and how its creators have reached an ardent base of fans online, some of whose faces are now a literal part of the show. They also discuss the post-"Hamilton" era on Broadway, where technologically-minded events like "The Encounter" are rubbing shoulders with old-school live theater.
April 26, 2017
The creators and most of the cast of HBO's 'Silicon Valley' talk with Recode's Kara Swisher in this live interview, recorded in San Francisco after the premiere of the first two episodes of Season Four. Executive Producer Mike Judge talks about the challenge of staying relevant and topical when the show is written and filmed so far ahead of when it airs; star Thomas Middleditch, who plays Pied Piper founder Richard Hendricks, says the past year has made him apprehensive about privacy, data collection and social media algorithms; and costar Amanda Crew, who plays venture capitalist Monica Hall, talks about investing in real tech companies with female founders. Also: Kumail Nanjiani, who plays Dinesh Chugtai, begs for free Apple products.