Stockholder activism: just a game of chess

March 14, 2008

chess.jpgThe Delaware court ruled in favor of Jana Partners, allowing the hedge fund and its partners to nominate directors to CNET Networks’ board, come the next shareholder meeting.But that decision is “just another move on the chess board,” according to CNET’s CEO Neil Ashe. In an e-mail to employees, Ashe compared fights between activist shareholders and managements for board control to chess matches.”Remember, stockholder activism is more common place today,” Ashe wrote. “We are not alone. The New York Times and IAC are both addressing similar situations. As I’ve said since the beginning, this is like a chess match.”The Times is fighting a proxy battle with hedge fund Harbinger Capital, and IAC and its controlling shareholder Liberty Media have sued each other.CNET said it is reviewing the court’s decision and may appeal. We’re waiting for the next move.Photo: Reuters file

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