Barbarians in the Boardroom: Activist Investors & the Battle for Control of the World's Most Powerful Companies

By: Satyajit Das
June 2016
Pearson Education
Distributed by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
ISBN: 9781292113982
352 Pages, Illustrated
$42.50 Paper Original



Activist investors have sent shockwaves through corporations in recent years, personally targeting directors and executives at some of the world’s largest companies. No longer satisfied with operating on the fringes of business, they are now a firm fixture in the boardroom.

Up to a quarter of public companies could be targeted by activist campaigns in the coming years, with directors and executives at those corporations threatened with losing their jobs. The trend, which began in corporate America, has spread to the UK, Europe and Asia, taking in several high profile companies.

Barbarians in the Boardroom tells a compelling story of boardroom bust ups, dumped CEOs triumphant activists and pared back companies. Itreveals real-life examples and interviews with executives and investors to explain why and how activist investors have managed to storm Wall Street and tear down City citadels. Owen Walker provides an insight into the way activists think, how they decide to target a company and how directors and executives could possibly work with them rather than against them.


Chapter 1: Who are activist investors?

Chapter 2: What activists want and how they get it

The Battles

Chapter 3: Boardroom coup at Darden Restaurants

Chapter 4: The many sieges of Yahoo

Chapter 5: Allergan and the unorthodox alliance

Chapter 6: DuPont’s Pyrrhic victory

The Settlements

Chapter 7: Microsoft’s pivotal truce

Chapter 8: Hewlett-Packard’s beleaguered board

Chapter 9: Walgreens and the Boots Trojan horse

Chapter 10: Alliance Trust’s eleventh-hour ceasefire

Chapter 11: March of the activists

Chapter 12: Burden of expectation


Chapter 13: What happened next?