Sometimes you wish things had gone better between two smart people who don't have to be foes.
That's how I felt after listening to Carlos Rodriguez, the president and CEO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) , after he was on Mad Money tonight.
Bill Ackman's Pershing Square controls 8% of the company's stock and has produced a voluminous and accusatory white paper about how the company could do much better. Today the company's board said it will not accept his three nominees.
After listening to Rodriguez, it makes little sense to me why Ackman didn't sit down with him and go over the issues that he has with ADP.
I think there would be less distance and acrimony had there been a sit-down and the two had talked. Perhaps if Ackman had met with key players in Rodriguez's team and with the board, what will be a costly proxy fight could have been avoided.
Now it's just World War III.
I do feel that Rodriguez, whose stock has doubled the S&P during his tenure, deserved that sit-down. I also think some of the harsher charges could have been avoided.
But they won't be.
And now it is a free-for-all and will be unusually distracting and it just didn't have to be that way.