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Highlights From Cramer's Interview With ADP's CEO Carlos Rodriguez

Highlights From Cramer's Interview With ADP's CEO Carlos Rodriguez

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman's activist campaign against Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ: ADP) is turning nasty, the company's CEO Carlos Rodriguez explained to CNBC's Jim Cramer.

Rodriguez spoke with Ackman before he went public and vocal with his proxy contest and asked for a meeting to try and work out an agreement, the executive told Cramer during his daily "Mad Money" show Monday. But Ackman refused to accept the invitation and said that is "not the way my business works."

Ackman went on to say that he needs to "have leverage over the threat of launching a proxy contest in order to get you guys to agree to the things that I want to do with the company," Rodriguez continued. But in a statement to CNBC, Ackman's Pershing Square said that this correspondence is "totally false."

Nevertheless, Ackman's massive 167-page slide show on ADP's woes and weakness was seen by the company's management at the same time as everyone else. The executive had hoped for a discussion ahead of the presentation to correct what he believes are "wrong conclusions."

"We kind of take offense to the implication that we are, I guess, playing with numbers or not disclosing information that we should be disclosing," Rodriguez exclaimed.

For example, ADP disagrees with allegations that the company is unproductive when in fact it has outpaced the S&P 500 index and Ackman's own performance.

Rodriguez also highlighted the fact that Ackman has yet to convert his stock ownership into a real position as it is leveraged on stock options.

Finally, Rodriguez said that none of the board nominees recommended by Ackman bring any "additive skills or experience" to the table. But at the end of the day, business is business and nothing is personal.

"Despite what you might think, we're professionals and we don't take things personally," he concluded. "So I think the manner is less important than the facts. And I think the facts speak for themselves. The performance that we have versus Pershing Square, the ideas which have been brought up which are not new to us and not new to the board of directors or to the management team. So I think it's a deeper issue than the manner and the form in which it was presented, but it was an odd way to approach a company."

Related Links:

Whether Ackman Wins Or Loses His Battle With Management, He's Likely To Cause Change At ADP

BMO 'Learned Some New Things' From Pershing Deep Dive Into ADP


Image Credit: By Dimples915 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


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