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A brief history of activist investors in tech and the role they play


On Tuesday, activist investor Starboard Value revealed a significant stake in Salesforce, sending the company’s stock climbing more than 7%. A hedge fund founded in 2002 by Jeffrey Smith and Mark Mitchell, Starboard has a history of affecting change at major companies, spurring the spinning off of media startup Patch from AOL in 2014 and the replacement of the entire board of directors at Darden Restaurants, the company that owns Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse.
Activist investors — typically specialized hedge funds that buy significant minority stakes in publicly traded companies with the goal of changing how they’re run — have become more active within the tech sector in recent years. According to an analysis by Bloomberg Law, investor activists launched more campaigns in tech during Q2 2022 than in any other secto …

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