As stories of some CEOs' outrageous behaviors continue, the amount of activist shareholder activities keeps growing, say Kenneth Mantel and Megan Reda, partners at Olshan Frome Wolosky in New York. They represent investment funds, family offices and people trying to bring change at public companies—and maybe get a seat on the board.
According to them, the first quarter of 2023 had some of the highest activist shareholder activity on record. They say the increase started with the #MeToo movement in 2017, when the New York Times published an article about Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein, a former film producer, focusing on three decades of his alleged sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact.
Other CEO conduct, such as embellishing a resumé or making controversial comments, can invite activist shareholder activity too, they say. And as long as the media continues to cover the improprieties, public companies will continue to be targets.
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