Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo Director Loeb Takes Another Smack at Former Chairman Bostock (This Time Over Morgan Stanley)

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It seems time wounds all heels.

But would you expect any different from the pugnacious hedge fund investor Dan Loeb, who is apparently back to attacking former Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock?

This time, though, it’s over board high jinks at Morgan Stanley, instead of the Silicon Valley Internet giant, when Loeb called Bostock a clown, among other various and sundry insults.

No surprise, Loeb is still using the same attack-dog insinuations that managed to successfully oust Bostock as a Yahoo director and put Loeb and two of his picks on the Yahoo board.

The new volley from the activist shareholder was in Loeb’s fourth-quarter investor letter, periodic missives in which he likes to tell everyone how to do their job, in often colorful terms. He’s now apparently of the belief that the storied investment bank is in the “early innings of a turnaround.”

That said, there was — as per usual — Loeb’s laundry list of “suggestions” to fix Morgan Stanley, where he took particular interest in how the board operated, including how much it paid its directors (too much, in comparison to other banks, for Loeb’s taste).

Then he dropped the boom on Bostock, noting without naming the longtime Morgan Stanley board member that one director — why be so coy, Dan? — “is familiar to us from previous corporate governance battles we have fought against moribund boards not up to the job of turning around great institutions.”

Loeb added: “We hope Morgan Stanley will show that its reinvention begins at the top.”

Loeb, who has a huge stake in Yahoo, also picked a fight with another hedge fund investor, William Ackman of Pershing Capital Management, over Herbalife.

Recently, Ackman has been after the nutritional supplement company, calling it a pyramid scheme and betting against it in a dramatic short play. But earlier this week, Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund said it owned just over 8 percent of Herbalife, worth $350 million.

Between smacking Bostock — even I’ve long stopped taking shots at Roy — and opposing Ackman in the same week, my guess is that Loeb must be gorging on raw guarana tablets.


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle