Jim Hagedorn! You must be a moron!
Scotts Miracle-Gro's Chairman and CEO announced Monday the company's plan to restructure the size and composition of its board of directors. The lawncare giant said the move was already in the works, but was hastened by the resignations of three board members following an unprintable outburst by Hagedorn.
What makes his outburst unprintable?
First of all, we don't know exactly what he said. So there's that little problem.
Next, even if we did have a transcript of Hagedorn's salty statement, it was reportedly so vulgar that we couldn't print it anyway.
"While I have a tendency to use colorful language, I recognize my comments in this case were inappropriate and I apologize," said Hagedorn. "I, along with the rest of our board members, consider the matter resolved and I have made a personal commitment to prevent a future recurrence."
"Colorful" our ass, Jim. There's nothing charming about your childish behavior. To be blunt, it only makes us remember that you ascended to the corner office in 2001, not for your leadership skills, but because you are the child of the company's co-founder.
Furthermore, the fact that you've been cursing on analyst calls and interviews for years doesn't make whatever you said this time any better. There is no precedent setting for stupidity.
By the way, shares of Scotts have returned 13% in the past year versus 29% for the
, so Hagedorn's petulance hasn't been paying off for stockholders of late either.
Despite the board's unanimously supported reprimand of Hagedorn, he still graciously wished the departing members well.
"Each of these board members served us well for many years and I want to thank them for their counsel and contributions," said Hagedorn. "I wish them each well in their future endeavors."
Now you're talking Jim! Way to use those big boy words.
fans, we're not kidding when we say we want
to succeed. Seriously, we take no joy in flagging the foibles of a company dedicated to combatting lung cancer, even if its principal drug does have an utterly unpronounceable name.
That said, it is our sworn duty to shine the spotlight on corporate shortcomings wherever they may reside, whether it be cupcake or cancer companies. And that's why we cannot ignore the mistakes that led to a 34% shellacking in Synta's shares Monday.
Sorry Synta, but that's what happens when you put the
before the horse!
To put it as simply as possible, a Phase II trial result revealed at the ASCO Conference on Monday did show that ganetespib improved survival in patients with advanced lung cancer. Nevertheless, the difference in patient deaths was relatively small and certainly not statistically significant enough to impress anybody, especially Synta investors who promptly took the stock to the woodshed.
Even before those lackluster results were publicly revealed, however, Synta was already pushing patients to enroll in a phase III study of ganetespib in second-line lung cancer. As to why they think skipping ahead to the next level without truly clearing the previous bar will get them closer to an
approval for their drug, well, we have no clue, and already-skeptical investors clearly feel the same way.
"If there was any enthusiasm for ganetespib going into the ASCO meeting, it's likely taking a hit now that investors have fixated on the anti-PD-1 drugs from
, says TheStreet's biotech ax Adam Feuerstein. "Unlike Synta's offering, these drugs are producing some of the strongest responses to melanoma ever seen and are also targeting lung cancer."
Sad to say, but Synta seems to be heading in the wrong direction.
Even worse, they feel the need to sprint.
Google's Porn Problem
Admit it Sergey and Larry. Even without
glasses you should have seen this one coming.
An enterprising outfit called MiKandi rolled out the first porn app for Google Glass Monday. The adult app store already has an Android offering and was looking to expand its business to include Google's latest gadget. They were well on their way too. Over 10,000 people visited the landing page for its
Tits & Glass
app before the puritans at Google pulled the plug on MiKandi's porn project only a few hours later.
Upon seeing MiKandi's success, the search giant hastily added a new section to its developer policies which said, "We don't allow Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts or sexually explicit material."
Drats! Damn those "Do No Evil" goodie goodies! Do they not realize that most technological advances begin -- and probably end -- with porn? Heck, were it not for the technical prowess of pornographers we'd still be watching TV through rabbit-eared boxes and renting movies on Betamax players.
And while they didn't think ahead to ban porn in the first place, the Google guys were smart enough to highlight harsh penalties for apps featuring child pornography. They also ban gratuitous violence, hate speech and gambling on their latest, greatest toy due out later this year or in 2014, which we can only characterize as a good thing.
Still, we have to applaud the moxie of MiKandi and its CEO Jesse Adams, despite the fact that its service was nippled, sorry, nipped in the bud. (Hey, the Scotts CEO isn't supposed to do blue material, but it's fine for overeducated, underpaid hacks like us though!) Poor guy tried to follow all the rules and gain first-mover advantage on a Google blockbuster and he got censored instead.
"Although the app is still live and people are using it, at this point we must make changes to the app in order to comply with the new policies," mourned Adams in a blog post.
Pretty sad, huh? A real downer, especially compared that to what he wrote prior to Google putting the kibosh on his app.
"It's been especially fun and thrilling to work on such a cutting edge device," cheered Adams. "Building apps for Google Glass is still in its infancy, so our first foray in Glassware is a relatively simple sharing application... although, it
take many, many, many, MANY lines of code. We're very excited to get everyone's feedback, and do our part to push the technology forward."
Wow! What an endorsement! This guy can really sell!
Maybe those Google guys ought to rethink their position on having his porn product on their high-tech glasses. Or at least turn a blind eye toward it.
Somebody get us a lawyer. We need some clarity on all these ricocheting
On second thought, forget it. It's all a bunch of loopy legal bluster anyway.
In a letter released Monday,
CEO Dan Hesse told Clearwire's board that a competing buyout proposal from
CEO Charlie Ergen violates Delaware law and conflicts with the agreement underpinning Sprint's investment in the wireless broadband provider. According to Hesse, Dish would require Clearwire to grant it three board seats if it reaches a threshold of 25%. Delaware law, however, only allows two paths for a company to mandate board seats, amending its certificate of incorporation or a shareholder vote.
"Many Clearwire stockholders appear to be under the mistaken belief that Dish's proposal is a viable alternative to the Sprint merger agreement," Hesse wrote, "and this is simply not the case."
So does Hesse's case hold water? Or are there gaps in his Delaware claims?
Honestly, we don't know. And we doubt the teams of lawyers from both sides who will be grappling over the finer points of Delaware corporate law for months to come will come to a decent conclusion either.
The only thing the letter does prove is that Ergen has officially gotten under Hesse's skin and into his brain.
Charlie screwed up Sprint's Clearwire purchase with his $4.40 bid for the company, $1 more than Hesse's offer. He also disrupted
attempt to acquire a 70% stake in Sprint.
Talk about a party crasher. Ergen's shenanigans are turning Hesse into a mess! The poor guy is writing pointless legal letters to nobody!
And you know that Ergen is enjoying every minute of it.
On Tuesday, Ergen responded with his own letter alleging Sprint made "misleading" and "simply untrue" arguments about his dealings.
"We remain confident that the DISH proposal is both actionable and clearly superior to the proposed Sprint merger," Ergen wrote. "More importantly, it also provides a meaningful alternative to the significant group of your minority stockholders that remain opposed to the Sprint merger while providing a clear path for Clearwire to become a self-sustaining company."
Yeah, Charlie must be having the time of his life making Dan's life miserable.
To be frank, we're kind of enjoying it ourselves.
! What on earth are you folks doing up there?
The flagging oncology company canned 140 middle- and lower-level employees Tuesday, totaling 62% of its workforce, in order to preserve the salaries and bonuses of the executives that drove the biotech's stock into the low single digits. Last month, an
advisory panel excoriated the data for its kidney cancer drug tivozanib, and told the FDA to reject the drug, sending Aveo shares plummeting by more than 60%. The FDA is expected to follow through on the negative advice of the panel and reject tivozanib next month.
"This is an incredibly sad day for Aveo," said CEO Tuan Ha-Ngoc on Wednesday's conference call.
Take off, Tuan! You get to keep your $567,875 per year salary, bonus and other perks even though you were in charge when Aveo conducted its poorly designed phase III trial for tivozanib. You were also calling the shots when the FDA raised concerns about the tivozanib study and recommended the company run another one. Nevertheless, you chose to sit on this information and ignore the FDA's advice instead.
"Tuan did not offer his resignation to the board. The company doesn't discuss conversations that took place in the board room, only outcomes," said Aveo spokesman Dan Budwick.
That's bush-league, Budwick, and you know it. Even worse is the fact that only a single Aveo executive, Chief Operating Office Elan Ezickson, is leaving the company and, according to
biotech ax Adam Feuerstein, he's resigning on good terms after pocketing $1 million in 2012.
Last week, Adam reported that Aveo Chairman Henri Termeer confirmed that there would be
stemming from the failure of tivozanib. So much for that.
You take off, too, Termeer. We're tired of your cronyism.
Congratulations to Jeremy Segal from Andover Massachusetts for winning our "Make Summer Dumber" Quiz! Thanks to all the readers who sent their entries. Here are the answers: 1.) B, 2.) D, 3.) A, 4.) D, 5.) D, 6.) C, 7.) A, 8.) A, 9.) D, 10.) B, Bonus: A.
-- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.