Wednesday, January 7, 2015

CEO Names on Bill Ackman's Desk

Bloomberg has an extensive article on Bill Ackman of Pershing Sqare who has had a truly spectacular year (and, if anyone from Pershing Square is reading this, thank you for ZTS). The article is a good read though I personally find their decks a lot more interesting. The opportunity to learn also extends to studying Mr. Ackman's work environment.

In any case, a close inspection of the hi-res photo of Mr. Ackman's office revealed a short list of CEOs on a hand-written pad.

They appear to be:
Juan Ramon Alaix (of Zoetis, recent activist long)
Paul Fribourg (CEO of Continental Grain, Board Member BKW WYN L EL APOL etc.)
David Sokol (formerly of Berkshire Hathaway)
Dennis Reilley (Praxair, DuPont, Covidien, Dow, Marathon Oil) [spelled as Reilly]
Mike Pearson (of Valeant)
Unreadable to me (tweet at me if you can figure it out) (Update: Joseph/Joe Shenker, Chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell; thank you @drchik23)

A less interesting piece is a handwritten note under the Polycom unit from (I think) Steven Wood of Greenwood Investors. The note is largely unintelligible to me.

There are several other notepads that I cannot read (barely making out George somebody... 1982-2000 on the one under the phone), nor can I figure out the book behind Mr. Ackman.

(h/t to Maoxian for tweeting the link to the hi-res pic)

Update 1: Twitter discussion whether Ackman *wanted* people to see it... given how the memos on his desk are flipped. We won't probably know.

Update 2: The story has taken a life on its own now: Wall Street Journal, BloombergBusiness Insider and even BuzzFeed.