Autodesk Settles

Sachem Head Capital and Eminence Capital got a win at Autodesk (ADSK). The design software company avoids a proxy battle by giving up three board seats.

At TED 2011, Autodesk launched a book celebrating the impact of design. Interesting book, “…this is a wonderful book to inspire those among us who like to imagine the things that aren’t there yet, and who like to create designs that will work well into the future.”

Sachem and Eminence own over 10% of the company. Joining the Autodesk board is Sachem founder Scott Ferguson, Rich Hill from Tessera Tech and Jeff Clarke Kodak CEO.

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The board moves to 13 members but will reduce to 11 later this year. Sachem went activist in Autodesk in November. Ricky Sandler of Eminence says that he’s looking forward to having a greater say about the company as it transitions to a cloud-based model.

What’s interesting is that Autodesk was gearing up to battle the activists, lashing out activist them. On the late Feb. earnings call, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass called the activists sports radio talk shows.

Bass said of the funds,

“As a matter of fact, if you turn on sports radio or political-talk radio, on sports radio, you can hear thousands of people who know what the coach or general manager or the owner should have done differently. And I’m worried about that [indiscernible]. I watched the game last night, I had a million ideas of what the coach should do, but I didn’t actually have to do the job.”




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