CNET CEO Neil Ashe, under pressure from hedge fund JANA and other investors, fired 120 employees yesterday and says it will put its best minds to work on a plan to save the company. So is JANA, et al, sated? What do you think? From JANA’s statement:
It is astounding that it has taken years of shareholder value destruction
for CNET to even start examining the basics of reversing its ongoing
underperformance, and even then only after we began calling for change.
Fundamental issues like these that we have raised should have been
addressed years ago.
Although CNET has belatedly said it will examine these fundamental
issues, shareholders should ask themselves whether there is any reason to
believe that the current leadership will do so successfully. The current
board of directors has presided over an almost 50% stock price decline in
the last two years through yesterday, yet they failed to demonstrate any
sense of urgency to address these basic issues until publicly called on
to do so. CNET’s board of directors and much of its senior management
team, including its CEO and the head of its “task force”, also lack the
necessary sector experience and expertise to address these issues and
future challenges effectively.
We agree that CNET has failed to address these issues historically and
that change is needed. Rather than farming out the challenges facing
CNET to a “task force” led by its CFO, we think a better plan is to bring
the necessary experience and expertise to CNET’s board of directors, who
can work with management to address these issues decisively and
effectively going forward. This is why we have proposed new board
members who we believe possess the experience and expertise to bring
effective change to CNET and maximise value for all shareholders.