When Bill Ackman tilted at the boring windmill that is ADP, he perhaps thought that this was an opportunity to resharpen his claws after watching them go dull during his failed campaigns against JC Penney, Herbalife, Joe Biden, and life in general.
But while The Ack-Man's move against the payroll processing giant (yawn) was met with unsubtly snarky eye-rolls in some dark quarters of the media, and a real diss track from hedge fund celeb/international sex symbol Leon Cooperman, it made many others excited to think that Bill might get his groove back by getting active with a massive company that many view as inherently inert.
So while some people can forgive Ol' Billy Acks for assuming he'd just steamroll his way into a company not known for its fighting spirit, one person who will not be letting Ackman have his way is ADP CEO Carlos Rodriguez. In fact, Rodriguez went on CNBC a few hours ago and used David Faber's airtime to verbally tear The Ack-Man a new asshole.
When asked about Ackman's request to have the deadline for nominating board members extended because he's on a summer vacation right now, Rodriguez said "It kind of reminds me a little bit of a spoiled brat in school asking the teacher for an extension for their homework."
And he was just getting warmed up. In response to the notion that Ackman has said he wants Rodriguez replaced or maybe not, Rodriguez admitted that he was also confused considering that Ackman called him directly to tell him that he wanted him out ("A baffling and surreal experience") and then later told Rodriguez that he believed Rodriguez had saved the company. Rodriguez went full Mariah Carey "I don't know her" on Ackman before summing up their current relationship thusly: "I honestly can't make heads or tails of what's going on. What it feels like is I'm negotiating with someone about buying a used car."
But Rodriguez wasn't even done, he also threw shade at Ackman's disastrous move to "fix" JC Penney with a new CEO ("Bringing in his handpicked CEO who completely destroyed the company would make us think twice about wanting to listen to Bill Ackman's advice"), heavily intimated that the Ack-Man has grown lazy and then outright accused him of being a social media bully. And then Rodriguez crossing into Carl Icahn territory by trolling Ackman as hard as CNBC bylaws allow:
"I'm directly saying he doesn't know what he's talking about. Frankly we haven't heard any ideas yet because he wasn't ready to share his ideas, but should he have come up with something or stumbled on some kind of idea that would enhance the value of ADP, of course we're going to listen to him."
Bill Ackman has a new enemy and suddenly our summer looks fun again.