Gayle King couldn’t help herself on Wednesday afternoon.
News of the resignation of Uber chief executive officer Travis Kalanick broke hours earlier and the “CBS This Morning” anchor and editor at large of O, The Oprah Magazine was looking to break some news of her own.
“The rumor on the Internet today is that [Uber] is going after Sheryl Sandberg. Do you see that?,” King said, turning to LinkedIn ceo Jeff Weiner, whom she was interviewing on stage at Hearst Tower in New York.
Nervous laughter ensued.
That answer wasn’t sufficient for King, who added: “It’s funny, Jeff, when I heard that, I immediately e-mailed her. She always responds instantly and now it’s radio silence. Crickets. I’m not reading anything into that.”
King reiterated that last statement, but of course, as any good reporter knows, silence is deafening to a curious mind in search of a big scoop.
She then asked Weiner if he is up for the job, even though moments earlier he said LinkedIn is his “dream job.”
“You are not going to read that I’m doing Uber,” he said.
King also touched on the ceo’s values and how they guide him as a leader.
Weiner, who spoke about “trusting his gut,” explained that he meditates and works on practicing “compassionate leadership.”
The ceo said that means trying to understand his employees’ perspectives before making a decision.
“We are all egocentric. That’s human nature,” he said. “We all see the world through our own lens. It helps us survive.…but in a business setting it can lead to real conflict.”
The zen ceo explained that leaders have to have a vision, inspire and effectively communicate, as well as make his or her employees feel that they have ownership of the company.
“It’s our team, our company,” he noted.
Later, King would ask Weiner to give his thoughts on the magazine industry, whether there is any growth left.
“You have to go digital,” he said. “It’s an industry influx…the models continue to evolve. It’s a brave new world in terms of access to information, the amount of information that is being created, the amount of information that is being published, the way in which content is being distributed through social platforms, though search engines.”
The ceo would bring up Bezos again at the end of the conversation when he was asked by King how he balances his home life and career.
“The best advice I ever got on this was from Jeff Bezos, Weiner said, citing a time when the Amazon founder and ceo was asked the same thing. “He said it’s the wrong thing to ask. He’s not looking for work-life balance. He doesn’t think that’s possible. He’s looking for work-life harmony or integration because Amazon is part of his life. He created it, he loves it. That really resonated with me.”