…some investors who attended the meeting said they were surprised to see that Potdevin, in his first major public appearance since he took the helm in January, didn’t exactly look the part of a fitness mogul. “He was kind of … dumpy,” one shareholder said, noting that Potdevin wore baggy clothes with an untucked shirt that failed to hide a bulging stomach. “If he’s a competent leader, he’s a competent leader,” another investor said. “But you’ve got to ask whether this guy is really in touch with the mind-set of his core customer in the athletic space.”
As you’ve likely heard, today marks the first day of the historic Raj Rajaratnam trial, the government’s biggest insider trading case to date. Jury selection kicked off this morning, and while we wait for a few hundred people to answer questions designed to reveal whether or not they have prejudices toward everyone from hedge fund managers, to Wall Street in general, to Sri Lankans to the big-boned, we thought it best to come with a list of character witnesses we’d like to see take the stand. Rajaratnam has already said he’ll speak on his own behalf and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is slated to make an appearance as well. But there are some lesser-known names who could probably tell an even richer tale about Raj and we’re just going to put their names out there and hope the universe does the right thing. Some of them would work in his favor and some not but all would add a certain je ne said quoi to the proceedings. They include: Read more »
Government officials often avoid conflicts between professional obligations and personal finances by divesting company stocks from their portfolios. So it comes as a surprise that, along with the standard mutual funds, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner owns a small amount of stock in yoga clothing retailer Lululemon…Turns out, he purchased less than $1,000 worth of shares a few years ago to teach his two children about the stock market, press aide Steve Adamske says. Geithner picked the company partly because of his now college-age daughter’s interest in yoga—and as a hedge against her frequent Lululemon purchases, Adamske says. Additionally, Geithner owns $1,000 to $15,000 worth of IBM (IBM) stock, which he inherited. [BusinessWeek]
Sadly, it wasn’t Raj, that we know of, though perhaps he took a test drive later on. I’ll have you know that at Stamford’s premiere hedge fund, the founder takes a more hands on approach to this sort of thing, modeling the goods offered by American Apparel, of which he’s an activist investor, himself, rather than passing the work off onto an underling.* I don’t know how we missed the most amazing aspect of this weekend’s Rajaratnam profile but here you go.
Employees at Galleon recall some unusual scenes. Last summer, Mr. Rajaratnam asked a junior female analyst to buy a black spandex outfit from retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. as part of a research project into the company, a hotly traded stock.
He then asked the analyst to wear the outfit at the firm’s morning meeting, said people who were there. As employees giggled, Mr. Rajaratnam made the point that few consumers would pay so much money for the expensive outfit in a recession, these people said.
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