Join NexChange - the professional
network for the financial services
industry - and receive a free one-
year subscription to Forbes
CEO Dismisses Bill Ackman as a 'Spoiled Brat' Who Acts Like a 'Used Car Salesman'
Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman, who seems to have a talent for getting under the skin of others – from Carl Icahn to Joe Biden to anonymous peers in the hedge fund industry – is now testing the patience of Carlos Rodriguez, chief executive officer of Automatic Data Processing Inc.
The spat between the two men is part of an ongoing proxy fight that’s gotten even testier after Rodriguez and ADP – which handles paycheck processing for roughly 26 million Americans – refused to grant Ackman’s request for an extension on the Thursday deadline for nominating directors, Bloomberg reports. According to Rodriguez, Ackman first requested a 30-day extension and then an extra 45 days.
Rodriguez says the activist investor “was either unprepared or was focused on a vacation he had planned,” Bloomberg reports.
“I think the real question, I guess, is why does he need an extension?,” Rodriguez said in an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box Thursday. He said the repeated requests for extensions reminded him of a “spoiled brat” asking a teacher for more time.
“I’ve had close to 30 board meetings, 24 quarterly calls. I’ve never asked anybody for an extension,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez wasn’t finished.
“The whole thing has been was baffling and a surreal experience,” Rodriguez said. “I think he’s changed his story multiple times. When I spoke to him last time we met with him, he told me he thought I had saved the company after decades of neglect.”
Ackman is now sending emails accusing him of destroying the Roseland, New Jersey-based company over the past five years, Rodriguez said
“What it feels like is I’m negotiating with someone about buying a used car,” Rodriguez said. “This is not a used car. This is a company that has 58,000 employees, a $50 billion market cap, and a lot of shareholders we have responsibilities toward.”
Seriously, does anyone actually like Bill Ackman?