Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman called out Howard Schultz yesterday evening on Charlie Rose on PBS.
Schultz earlier ripped into Ackman for leaking letters for JCPenney’s board in the press.
Schultz, who is friends with the retailer’s interim CEO Mike Ullman, called Ackman’s actions “despicable” and blamed him for ruining the lives of thousands of JCPenney employees.
Ackman, who said he’s never spoken to Schultz, hinted that the Starbucks CEO may have leaked a memo he wrote to the press.
“I think he doesn’t really understand the facts. He’s a good friend of Mike Ullman, who sits on the board. You know the reality is Howard Schultz, when he brought in the new CEO– the board brought in Jim Donald to be teh CEO of Starbucks a number of years ago and things were going poorly. Howard Schultz wrote a memo to the board that was leaked to the press and it’s not clear who leaked that memo to the press.”
Back in 2007, a memo Schultz wrote to the press to then-CEO Jim Donald was leaked to the press. The board then ousted Donald and brought on Schultz again.
BILL ACKMAN: But ultimately it led to the replacement of Jim Donald with Howard Schultz. And Howard Schultz —
CHARLIE ROSE: Or just returned to the company but he turned it around when he came back.
BILL ACKMAN: He did an absolutely fabulous job. And — but why did that memo end up being leaked to the press?
UPDATE: It wasn’t Schultz who leaked that memo.