Mad Money

Cramer: Activists are picking on the wrong chiefs

Cramer's note to activist investors

Jim Cramer's memo to the activists: Pretty please with a cherry on top, stop picking on the summa cum laude students, and go after the underperformers!

Right now there are three CEOs who are being called out by big name activists and hedge funds for not doing enough for shareholders—Tim Cook from Apple, David Pyott from Allergan and Indra Nooyi from PepsiCo—and the "Mad Money" host doesn't like it.

The most talked about catcall on Thursday was the letter from Carl Icahn to Tim Cook, the Apple CEO. The letter from Icahn, first posted on Twitter, said that while Cook has done a fantastic job, there is so much more to do. Icahn proposed that the tech giant make a tender offer to get the stock rallying again, because he believes that Apple is undervalued.

Cramer's take away from this is that Icahn believes that Cook is not giving it all he's got. "I only wish there were other CEOs as shareholder friendly yet as strong in the creation, development and execution of terrific products as Cook," Cramer said.

Jim Cramer on Mad Money.
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Nelson Peltz is calling for Nooyi to split PepsiCo into two units, dividing beverage from snack foods, and then buy Mondelez to pick up the snack foods portion. Cramer says that plan would have made sense when the stock was in the $60's, but now it's in the $90's.

Now it is a star of the consumer packaged goods industry, and the combination of the two units together is actually giving PepsiCo an edge among its competitors. With General Mills, Kellogg, Conagra and Campbells all struggling, Cramer wondered why Peltz is hounding the best? Why not declare victory for Nooyi and say thank you for a job well done?

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In the pharma world, Valeant and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman have teamed up to buy Allergan. So what did Allergan do in exchange? It has delivered the best results out of any of the large pharmaceutical companies. Cramer thinks that CEO David Pyott has done more than its competitors to create value for shareholders, outrunning Merck, Pfizer, Bristol-Meyers and GlaxoSmithKline.

Activists should be telling Allergan's brass, "We see you took many of the actions we wanted and we are thrilled and that is why we are going to go after a different company where the CEO isn't as motivated to do the right thing," Cramer said.

At the end of the day, Cramer doesn't feel bad for these CEOs. They are so well-compensated and live probably better lives than everyone else in the country. Given the wealth they have created for shareholders, the "Mad Money" host thinks it is well deserved.

"I wish that these activists would declare victory in all three cases and start putting heat on many of the other CEOs at companies that have underperformed," Cramer said.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

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