Layoffs Watch '18: Pershing Square Capital Slashes Headcount By 18% So Bill Ackman Can Get Back To Basics

Bill Ackman needs to hide away and think, so the PSQ office needs to be 18% quieter.

Huge news out of Pershing Square Capital...


Via Reuters:

William Ackman is cutting almost a fifth of staff and looking to lower his public profile as he seeks to turn around Pershing Square Capital Management after three straight years of losses, people familiar with the move told Reuters on Monday.

So it's a good news/bad news situation for Pershing Square employees.

Good news: Bill Ackman is going to spend less time talking to Leslie Picker on live TV and more time with Bill Ackman. He'll probably grow a beard, play more tennis and finally figure out that master plan for getting revenge on Carl Icahn and/or the universe...

Ackman also plans to go silent, at least for awhile, the people said, a major change in style for one of Wall Street’s most voluble investors...
Ackman plans to curtail all of his own marketing and public relations meetings associated with running a big hedge fund, said the people familiar with the matter, who were not authorized to discuss the changes publicly.

Bad news: One in every five you is fired...

The first step in turning around Pershing Square is laying off 10 people, shrinking the firm to 46 employees from 56, to oversee the roughly $9 billion in assets the firm manages for clients, the people said.

According to the report, the cuts will mostly be felt in the operations apparatus at PSQ, with one investment team member also hitting the road. But don't think Bill isn't going to feel the pain here:

Ackman also laid off his driver, saying he can walk or take the subway to his Midtown Manhattan office, the people familiar with the matter said. The staff were told the news of the layoffs late last week.

So, when you're wondering if the white-bearded man with the sad eyes reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upon the westbound 7 train this summer looks familiar...he does.

Exclusive: Ackman cuts staff, shuns limelight as he seeks to turn around fund [Reuters]