Mudge’s Grudge Unlikely to Budge Judge  

Twitter whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko’s testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday may result in increased regulation on the tech industry but is unlikely to move the needle in the Musk vs. Twitter trial. Mudge elaborated on security shortfalls and questionable data practices outlined in his whistleblower complaint while giving little insight into the number of bots on the platform – Musk's central argument for breaking the merger agreement. Ultimately, Tulane Business Law Professor Ann Lipton, whose own tweets on this are a must read, believes Musk gained very little from the testimony.

As a result, Wall Street hedge funds are making bets that Twitter will win in court and Musk will be forced to pay the agreement price of $54.20 a share or perhaps negotiate a settlement on the courtroom steps. One investor wrote, “it would be a dangerous precedent if the most prominent business court lets Musk off the hook based off his arguments.”

In San Francisco, many CEOs and heads of IR were walking the halls of Goldman’s Communacopia and Technology conference at the Palace Hotel, where GPP was in attendance. 

The mood among executives such as John Stankey (AT&T), Bob Chapek (The Walt Disney Company) and Bob Bakish (Paramount Global) was generally upbeat. Brian Sozzi of Yahoo! Finance captured much of the conversation in his takeaways on dealmaking heading into 2023, overall market sentiment and state of the consumer.  

Chapek was a keynote Wednesday and, among other things, articulated why ESPN was a core part of its business. He cemented this viewpoint in an interview with CNBC’s David Faber following the keynote that the best place for ESPN is within Disney and that there is growth potential for sports betting and a more “frictionless” sports experience. 

Have a great weekend, 

GPP Team    


Axios: Twitter Whistleblower's Senate Testimony No Boon for Musk

Early signs indicate that the testimony of Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, Twitter’s former security chief, to the Senate Judiciary Committee did little to help Musk terminate his deal to buy the company. Read More

Bloomberg: Hedge Funds Are Betting Elon Musk Will Be Forced to Buy Twitter

Following a few turbulent weeks, event-driven hedge funds are buying stock, options or bonds, wagering that Elon Musk will be forced to complete his acquisition of Twitter. Read More

FT Due Diligence: Can Disney and Dan Loeb live happily ever after? 

Activist investor Dan Loeb reversed his previous call for Disney to sell or spin-off ESPN, saying he looks forward to ESPN executing “on the growth and innovation plans, generating considerable synergies as part of The Walt Disney company.” Read More


The Deal: Historic Antitrust Shakeup Under Review: Kanter

DOJ’s antitrust chief Jonathan Kanter confirmed the agency is considering replacing horizontal and vertical merger guidelines with a single set of protocols, which would be a seismic shift in the antitrust enforcement landscape. Read More

New York Times: Billionaire No More: Patagonia Founder Gives Away the Company

The founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, will transfer ownership of the $3b company into a trust and a nonprofit organization designed to “preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all of its profits are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe.” Read More

Fortune: Nasdaq’s CFO Has a Prediction About When IPOs Are Coming Back

Ann Dennison, CFO of Nasdaq, said the second quarter of 2022 had more companies in the IPO pipeline than any point in the last two years. More recently, she says clients are looking at early 2023. Read More

Bloomberg: Billionaire Climate Activist May Target More Major Polluters with Green Campaigns

Following his success at utility AGL, Mike Cannon-Brookes has indicated he is open to pushing for changes at other companies where climate pledges lack details to meet their goals. Read More

Financial Times: Johann Rupert, the Luxury Boss Who Saw Off a Hedge Fund in the Mood for a Fight

At the company’s annual meeting, Richemont shareholders by a large margin rejected three propositions from activist investor Bluebell, including a Bulgari executive nomination to its board. Read More


Leadership Next: ESG Investing Likely Here to Stay, Despite Political Pushback

Fortune’s Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt talk with Lynn Martin, President of the New York Stock Exchange, about the growing interest around ESG investing and why being a CEO is harder than ever. Listen Here

Breakingviews: Oil vs. ESG

All of the S&P 500’s top 10 performers so far this year are energy companies, complicating the argument surrounding sustainable investing by financial firms and the reigning in of ESG investments by public officials. Read More

Financial Times: ESG ETFs Face Perfect Storm in the US

The combination of increased regulatory scrutiny from the SEC and multiple political and ideological battles has led to what Financial Times Editor, Emma Boyde, describes as a perfect storm. Read More

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance: Enhanced ESG Disclosures for Investment Funds and Advisers: A Comment from BlackRock

BlackRock, in a letter to the SEC on proposed rules for ESG disclosures for investment funds, praised the agency for promoting access to “consistent, comparable, and reliable information about investment funds’ and investment advisers’ incorporation of ESG criteria" into their decision-making. Read More


While the Streets of San Francisco were definitely not bustling like midtown Manhattan, the city felt alive and humming with commerce and a semblance of normalcy was felt in and around the Palace Hotel. 

In the evening, GPPers were spotted in the East Bay Thursday night in the shadows of Berkeley Law at a cool natural wine bar called Rose Pizzeria, and dined at other cool restaurants this week such as The Morris in the Mission and a venerable vegetarian spot on the Bay called Greens.


  • Co-founder and former CEO, John Foley, has resigned as executive board chairman of Peloton. Fellow co-founder, Hisao Kushi, also left his position as chief legal officer. Read More


  • Shell CEO Ben van Beurden will be stepping down from his role as CEO at the end of 2022 after 39 years with the company. Read More


  • Nate Becker is joining The Information as its new Finance Editor. He was previously the Deputy Deals Editor at the Wall Street Journal. Read More


  • Yue Chen has joined the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as the agency’s first chief climate risk officer. Read More


  • Shira Ovide is joining The Washington Post as a strategy editor to launch a newsletter and join the Help Desk team, dedicated to “help(s) people make sense of the technology in their lives.” Read More

September 28, 2022: CNBC Delivering Alpha

October 18, 2022: 13D Monitor Active-Passive Investor Summit

October 26, 2022: Axios BFD 

November 8 – 9, 2022: Berkeley Forum on Corporate Governance 

November 16-18: CII Corporate Governance Bootcamp 

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