CEOs: Just Run Your Companies

Did anyone catch the Cyberonics (CYBX) conference call yesterday? I would never have noticed it as I don’t follow the stock, but continuous coverage on CNBC got me wanting to mention it. The company’s CEO went ballistic after the stock got crushed on news that the Senate is investigating the FDA’s decision to recommend approval of the company’s product after initially suggesting it be rejected.

Now I don’t know the details of the story, nor do I really care, but I couldn’t help notice how irrate the CEO was on the call from clips I heard on CNBC. He blasted short sellers for supposedly starting rumors and was infuriated that people were contacting the FDA to learn more about possible pressures applied to get the CYBX device approved.

After screaming at people on the conference call, the CEO spent more valuable time writing emails to CNBC criticizing their reporting of the story throughout the day. With a very important product under review by the FDA, doesn’t he have more important things to do with his time than yell and scream at analysts, short sellers, and business reporters?

If you are a CEO, your job is to run your company. How well you do will determine where your stock trades. News reporters and short sellers do not determine stock prices over time. How much money Cyberonics earns does. Sure, a false rumor might send your share price down a dollar or two in a day. However, why be infuriated by this? As a CEO, it shouldn’t matter if your stock is $30 on Monday, $28 on Wednesday, and $31 on Friday. Leave that for traders to worry about.

It’s amazing how many CEOs hate short sellers and spend so much of their time trying to discredit them (Overstock.com’s Patrick Byrne comes to mind as a perfect example). If you want them to feel pain, fine, just hit your numbers and those betting against you will lose their shirt. That seems like the best gameplan for those who are doubting you and your company.

Just do your job well, run your company correctly, and the stock price will take care of itself.

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