A Rare Interview with Third Point's Dan Loeb - Why He Admires George Clooney
In an exclusive interview, Loeb, whose Third Point owns an estimated 7% of Sony, struck a much more conciliatory tone toward the Japanese electronics giant than he’s demonstrated in recent weeks. He praised Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai’s letter to him, calling it “thoughtfully written and detailed in its discussion of profitability and transparency. There was a lot there for shareholders to hang their hats on.”
Loeb said that the letter had to be viewed in the context of what Third Point was aiming for: greater transparency, accountability and profitability, as well as access to management.
Surprisingly, Loeb also said that he found some commonality with George Clooney, even though the actor last week told Variety’s sister publication Deadline that Loeb “knows nothing about our business.” In an investor letter, Loeb had criticized the performance of Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and co-chair Amy Pascal.
“Notwithstanding the fact that the media likes to create a stir, I admire Mr. Clooney’s passion for Sony and his loyalty to Sony and his friends there,” said Loeb, suggesting that he and Clooney share a “common goal” in that “a more disciplined company with better allocation of capital means less money spent on bureaucracy and more investment in motion pictures. We are all for intelligent investment in creative content. I believe our interests are aligned in a way he probably doesn’t realize.”
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