Mr McDade’s Inexplicable Insouciance

Ya gotta love Dan Loeb. Just check out his letter to the board of directors of PDL Biopharma, a biotech company he owns stock in, which is well worth reading in full. Most of it is a full-on broadside directed at PDL’s CEO, Mark McDade. Some choice excepts:

It became apparent that the earlier dialogue was a charade intended to stall for time, a tactic we have seen employed many times before by underperforming CEOs. Mr. McDade’s inexplicable insouciance towards us… Mr. McDade’s management blunders and wasteful spending… McDade’s Insincerity and Disorganization… what is truly galling, and what speaks directly to Mr. McDade’s lack of character, professionalism, and competence… How can Mr. McDade purport to effectively run a public biotechnology company with a market capitalization of over $2 billion when he cannot even manage his own Microsoft Outlook inbox?… so long as Mr. McDade remains CEO, which we expect will not be much longer, the Company will have no intention of doing the “right thing”… There is no better example of McDade’s “empire building” philosophy, pathological selfishness and poor business judgment than his decision to build out PDLI’s absurdly large and unnecessary new corporate headquarters (the “Taj Mahal”)… Mr. McDade has, from the beginning of this project, apparently been fixated on when his boat slip in the marina adjacent to the new corporate headquarters will be ready… Mr. McDade has made it clear in private that one of the key drivers behind his decision to relocate the Company from Fremont to Redwood City is that the new headquarters location will lead to a far shorter commute… The Company is being treated like McDade’s personal science experiment.

The stock market loves this sort of thing just as much as I do, it would seem: PDLI is up 8% today, despite Bloomberg reporting that PDL immediately rebuffed Loeb with a thanks-but-no-thanks letter saying that the company believes in its “current strategy”.

Even so, I’m setting the over/under on McDade’s ouster at three weeks.

(Via Alphaville)

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