Herbalife: Ackman vs. Icahn

 
As an investor relations professional, there is nothing more interesting going on now than the public drama surrounding the activist attack on Herbalife.  To remind you, Pershing Square Capital Management’s Bill Ackman conducted a highly public attack against Herbalife with a 300-plus page slide presentation, going short nearly a billion dollars. Management then countered with a three-hour long investor meeting to rebut and explain the company’s side of the story.
 
Meanwhile, activist investor Dan Loeb goes long, purchasing nearly 8% of the company.  And If the battle of activist titans could not get any more interesting, I recently listened to Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman bickering for nearly 30 minutes on CNBC, with Herabilife as a backdrop.
 
Perhaps the candid nature and public name calling took the reporter back a little, because he was reduced to a bystander, but Icahn never let on if he was long or short Herbalife – not that he would.

 

Matt Sheldon, msheldon@pondel.com

Social Media’s Global Growth

The stats on social media’s global growth are staggering.  A graphic recently posted in Mashable.com illustrates how the world consumes social media.  And boy does it!

Facebook Logo

 
We all know that Facebook now has one billion users in 127 countries and is the top social media destination.  It’s also interesting to learn how countries and regions outside the U.S. are adopting social media like Asia, which has grown to more than one billion Internet users in a little more than ten years.
 
Or that 800 million users visit YouTube each month with more than 70 percent of the site’s traffic coming from outside the U.S.  In fact, 700 of these videos are shared via Twitter every minute.  Moreover, LinkedIn increased its membership nearly by half in the last two years with Turkey, Brazil and Indonesia seeing the largest user growth.
 
All this data can seem very overwhelming.  Even though the growth of social media seems to be a no brainer when it comes to global marketing, many executives still fail to grasp the opportunity.  Let’s be clear: social media is not slowing down anytime soon.
 
Not all social media platforms may be relevant for every business organization.  There is no one size fits all solution for tackling this new media landscape.  However, given the global economy and the opportunities social media presents, these new platforms can help organizations engage with consumers, customers, and even investors, all over the world.  It’s like six degrees of separation on steroids. The proof is in the data.
 
So, the world is consuming social media.  Are you?

 

George Medici, gmedici@pondel.com