Jim Cramer sits on the board of TheStreet.com, a small investment news website he co-founded in 1999 which that currently trades on the Nasdaq and has a market cap of about $US80 million.
One of the company’s shareholders is not happy with Cramer.
These include, among other things, Cramer’s alleged enjoyment of a “perfumed sedan driver and assorted assistants who spray ionized lavender water on [Cramer’s] barren cranium.”
It is unclear if this claim has any merit.
Cannell Capital, which owns 8.95% of TheStreet.com, proposed in its letter that TheStreet either 1) sell itself, or 2) Cramer stop working with CNBC and devote his time and energy solely to TheStreet while also taking a 70% pay cut.
Cannell notes that the market cap of TheStreet.com has fallen from around $US1.7 billion in 1999 to around $US80 million today, a loss of more than $US1.6 billion in shareholder value.
Cramer is currently one of the hosts of CNBC’s Squawk on the Street program as well as the host of Mad Money, which airs on weeknights.
Cannell’s letter, while proposing some strategies for TheStreet.com, also implores Cramer to do some soul searching.
“You are 59,” Cannell writes. “When you lie upon your deathbed, how will you reflect upon your legacy? Once a $US70 stock, TST is now $US2.20. You will have done well, but how has the common shareholder done?”
Cannell notes that Cramer signed a four-year employment contract with TheStreet in November 2013 that pays him $US3.5 million annually.
And while Cannell is certainly hard on Cramer, he also writes that, “I commend you for your tenacity and intellect,” but says Cramer’s conflict between his director role with TheStreet and his employment at CNBC creates a “grand structural conflict.”
In imploring Cramer to leave CNBC and devote his energy to TheStreet while also taking a 70% pay cut, Cannell invokes Steve Jobs’ $US1/year salary as well as Warren Buffett’s (which is spelled with one “t”) $US100,000/year salary.
“I imagine that this communication may be received with some frustration and perhaps a little embarrassment,” Cannell writes.
“Please rest assured that my intent is merely and solely to help all shareholders — not just one shareholder. Please review the facts for what they are.”
Whatever that is, exactly.
In afternoon trade on Wednesday following disclosure of the letter, shares of TheStreet were up more than 6%.