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Dan Loeb Was All Over Facebook This Week

From politics to fashion, D-Lo is all about that social media lately.

We all get a little distracted in August. The dog days of summer leave us bereft of interest in the banalities of work, and our minds wander to other things, yearning to explore topics that don't pay the bills.

So we can all see where Dan Loeb was coming from when he logged onto Facebook this week in search of engagement with something that had nothing to do with Third Point or Nestlé or Trump. And imagine Loeb's immense pleasure at seeing an alert that his hedgie rival, and newly-single billionaire, David Einhorn had updated his profile pic to convey his hip new playboy lifestyle:

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 10.52.13 AM

While Einhorn might want that subtly-patterned jacket to whisper "Hey ladies," Loeb seems to have interpreted it with more of a "Help me!" vibe.

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Who doesn't love some jocular joshing on the old Facebooks? Dan Loeb is a snappy dresser and Einhorn needs help being reborn onto the scene. And honestly if one middle-aged billionaire can't give sartorial aide to another middle-aged billionaire, what the fuck are we even doing here?

That is just some good hedgie fun, Facebook is happy place where nothing ever goes wrong and everyone's opinion is valued. Nothing can ever go wrong on Facebook, right Dan?

The hedge fund manager Daniel S. Loeb, a prominent supporter of charter schools and a major financial backer of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and congressional Republicans, accused the African-American woman who leads the Democrats in the New York State Senate of having done “more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.”
Mr. Loeb made the reference, apparently to the Ku Klux Klan, in a posting on Facebook in response to an article in The New York Times this week in which the Democratic leader, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, confronted Mr. Cuomo about prejudging her based upon race and gender.

Ruh roh.

“Thank God for Jeff Klein and those who stand for educational choice and support Charter funding that leads to economic mobility and opportunity for poor knack kids,” Mr. Loeb wrote, with “knack” apparently a typographical error for “black.” “Meanwhile hypocrites like Stewart-Cousins who pay fealty to powerful union thugs and bosses do more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.”

This will not end well...

After The Times reported on his Facebook remarks, Mr. Loeb deleted them late Thursday night.
“I regret the language I used in expressing my passion for educational choice,” he said in a statement. “I apologize to Senator Stewart-Cousins and anyone I offended. I have taken down the post from Facebook.”

What we have here is a guy well-versed in the hurly burly world of activist hedge fund management trying to weigh in on the septic cul-de-sac of political thought that is Albany, and doing it all on social media. Loeb clearly overstepped the bounds of taste here, and got so overly verbally aggressive that even Andrew Cuomo distanced himself from the post, but we think he learned a valuable lesson about spending too much time on Facebook; Don't. And you're too smart to be commenting on the lose/lose world of New York State politics.

We're also assuming that Loeb will now enter the gauntlet of public apology and acts of contrition. As Loeb begins that journey, might we appeal to David Einhorn to send Dan that fancy jacket of yours? We think it would look great on a man trying to humble himself on the public stage.

Daniel Loeb, a Cuomo Donor, Makes Racial Remark About Black Leader [NYT]

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Yahoo! RésuméGate, Day 7: Third Point Is Not Enjoying This At All

In fact, Dan Loeb and Co. find this "embarrassing episode" painful to watch. Dear Board of Directors: Six days have passed since Yahoo! acknowledged the fabrications in Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson and Director Patti Hart's resumes. Since then, the following has occurred: (i) shareholders have been told that Mr. Thompson's errors were "inadvertent", (ii) Mr. Thompson made a classic "I'm sorry you feel that way" non-apology without actually accepting responsibility, (iii) Ms. Hart announced she will not seek re-election to the Board presumably due to her leadership of the botched CEO hiring process but intends to serve out her term, and (iv) the Board has formed a special committee to conduct a "thorough review" into Mr. Thompson's academic credentials. It appears very clear to us – and to many corporate governance experts, Yahoo! employees, and fellow Yahoo! shareholders – that Mr. Thompson's fantasy degree was in no way an "inadvertent error". The evidence shows he had been using false credentials for years. Mr. Thompson's "apology" was clearly insufficient and it seems that the only thing he actually regrets is that he has been caught in a lie and publicly exposed. Without any explanation or accountability, Yahoo! has been left to flounder under a discredited leader for an undefined period. So, after six days, we must ask – what is this Board waiting for? It seems farcical to us that the Board will most likely spend more time deliberating over whether Mr. Thompson should be fired than it did properly vetting whether he should have been hired. The necessary investigation into whether certain senior executives and Board Members knew of Mr. Thompson's deceptions before hiring him should not delay decisive action over his ethical breaches. Third Point has over $1 billion invested in Yahoo! and we take no joy in witnessing this carnage. This Board's unchecked value destruction must stop once and for all. Therefore, we once again call upon the Board to immediately (i) place Third Point's entire slate on the Board replacing Mr. Thompson and Ms. Hart, (ii) appoint an interim CEO—we would suggest CFO Tim Morse or Head of Global Media Ross Levinsohn (assuming neither had any knowledge of Mr. Thompson's fabrications) and (iii) allow Third Point nominee Michael Wolf to Chair the Search Committee for a new permanent CEO (Mr. Wolf will waive the $15,000 fee that Ms. Hart received for her work as Head of the Search Committee last year, which we expect she will promptly disgorge). This is the only way for Yahoo! to move past this embarrassing episode. Sincerely, Daniel S. Loeb Chief Executive Officer Third Point LLC

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