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Barry McCarthy. Photo by Bloomberg.
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The Flaw in Peloton’s Activist Investor Complaints

Photo: Barry McCarthy. Photo by Bloomberg.

There’s no pleasing some people. Nearly three months ago, activist investor Blackwells Capital called on Peloton to fire its CEO, who was then John Foley, and consider selling itself. Two weeks later, hey presto! Foley was pushed aside to become “executive chair”—probably not the promotion it might seem—while former Netflix Chief Financial Officer Barry McCarthy was installed as CEO. You’d think that would satisfy the activist, at least for a little while.

But no. We live in an age of instant gratification, when you can order a banana delivered to your apartment in less than 10 minutes. So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that today Blackwells complained that “two months have passed” since the executive reshuffle and shareholders are worse off because the stock price has fallen further. Now, it’s hard to defend Peloton, the very picture of a poorly run company. But come on—McCarthy deserves a little more than two months before his management can be judged a failure. And judging any company by its stock price performance over the past two very disruptive months is a bit of a cheap shot.

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