Activist Insight Quotes Andrew Freedman Discussing the Rise of Do-Good Shareholder Activism by Billionaires


Andrew Freedman, Olshan Partner and Co-Chair of the firm’s Shareholder Activism practice, was recently quoted in Activist Insight Online (subscription required) analyzing the recent rise of celebrity activism. In discussing the recent campaigns by billionaire Carl Icahn regarding animal welfare at McDonalds and Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter to ensure continued freedom on the platform, Andy noted, “we're seeing an evolution of the same tools used to catalyze operational and governance changes to catalyze do-good or environmental and social causes that for whatever reason might be slipping off the radar-screen of boards.”  Andy also noted that such individuals are in a position to advance certain of these causes as they, “… are high-visibility, high-powered, high-wealth individuals who've earned a tremendous amount of clout and credibility and want to put it to use.”  As is the case with regular shareholder activism campaigns, these recent situations keep company boards on alert because, “it's a wakeup call for boards that might have been reticent to address those issues because they weren't necessarily about profitability….They need to be thinking about and taking these actions on their own and they're not necessarily going to be penalized if it's the right thing to do,” Andy noted.

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