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The Measure of Ackman

bill ackman
The deluge of Bill Ackman content has been unceasing ever since his public campaign to oust Harvard president Claudine Gay spiraled into a very public feud with Business Insider. Photo: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images
William D. Cohan
February 25, 2024

There has been an endless stream of Bill Ackman content lately: the lengthy diatribes on Twix; the Washington Post profile; the New York mag cover story; he even made Page Six the other day; and, yes, a little Puck action, too. On Wednesday, my partner Dylan Byers advanced the New York Post’s report on the recent dinner between Ackman and Axel Springer C.E.O. Matthias Döpfner at Daniel by predicting it would lead to a possible face-saving détente between the raging billionaire hedge fund manager and the source of his fury, Business Insider, which accurately but hyperbolically characterized his wife’s scholarship as riddled with plagiarism rather than inadvertent faulty citation. 

By the way, just to add a fun detail to the Ackman-Döpfner dinner, it came about as a result of a text sent by Niall Ferguson’s wife, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, after all four were at Henry Kissinger’s memorial service. Afterward, Ali texted Ackman and Döpfner, “Sitting at Henry Kissinger’s memorial service. I know he would have urged you to get together as soon as possible. I know you were both on the same side of the fight for our civilization. I also know the value of face to face meetings. Take it from here, with admiration, Ayaan.”