In billionaire dispute over DEI Bill Ackman slams Mark Cuban39s

In billionaire dispute over DEI, Bill Ackman slams Mark Cuban's rebuttal to Elon Musk: 'I fell into the same trap' – Fortune

In billionaire dispute over DEI Bill Ackman slams Mark Cuban39s

Pershing Square Capital Management CEO Bill Ackman, like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has made his voice heard on DEI. Jeenah Moon-Bloomberg/Getty Images

Billionaires clash with X over diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

On Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world's richest man, said: wrote: “DEI is just another word for racism. It’s a shame for anyone who uses it.”

This was in support of a long post from hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman on why he urged Harvard President Claudine Gay to resign, as she announced earlier this week. Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, is a Harvard graduate and prominent donor to the university.

Gay received intense criticism last month for her responses to lawmakers about anti-Semitism on campus following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. In particular, it failed to condemn calls for genocide against Jews as a violation of university policy. This followed accusations from conservative activists that she had plagiarized her academic work and suggestions that she was entirely unqualified for the role of president, which she assumed last July.

“It was a thinly veiled exercise in race and gender when they picked Claudine Gay,” said entrepreneur and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, a Harvard graduate. Posted until X on Tuesday. “Here’s a radical idea for the future: select leadership based on *merit*.”

If an X user replied to Musk, asking whether DEI qualifies as racism, Musk countered: “Racial discrimination that DEI engages in is literally the definition of racism.”

That's when another billionaire came forward: Mark Cuban, the Shark Tank star and owner of the Dallas Mavericks (last month he sold his majority stake in the NBA team to families related to Sheldon Adelson, the late Las Vegas casino magnate). Vegas, are connected).

“Let me help you and give you my opinion on DEI,” he said replied to Musk.

“Good companies look where others don’t look to find the people who will put your company in the best possible position for success,” he continued. “You may not agree, but I assume that there are people of different races, ethnicities, orientations, etc. who are regularly excluded from hiring consideration. By expanding our hiring search to include these individuals, we are able to find better qualified individuals. DEI-hostile companies’ loss is my gain.”

Ackman replied to Cuban: Write:

“That's exactly what I thought until I did the work. I encourage you to do the same and return. DEI is not about diversity, equity, or inclusion. Trust me. I fell into the same trap as you.”

musk replied to Ackman with “Yup.”

Musk, who owns X, has been a frequent critic of DEI in recent weeks. It's mid-December wrote: “'Diversity, justice and inclusion' are propaganda words for racism, sexism and other -isms.” This is as morally wrong as any other racism and sexism. Changing the target class doesn’t make it right!”

(The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Tesla in September, alleging it failed to investigate complaints of racist behavior and fired or retaliated against employees who reported harassment. In other such cases Tesla has stated that it does not tolerate discrimination and takes such complaints seriously.)

Ackman, similarly, wrote on Wednesday: “DEI is racist because reverse racism is racism, even when it’s directed at white people (and it’s notable that I even have to point this out).”

In her resignation letter, Gay wrote: “It has been disturbing that doubts have been raised about my commitment to confronting hate and upholding scientific rigor – two core values ​​that are fundamental to me – and it is frightening to be subjected to personal attacks and threats .” fueled by racial hostility.”