The social photo platform Pinterest got a new CEO a month ago, and now it has a new largest shareholder.
Elliott Management, the investment firm known for its activism, disclosed on Monday that it is now the company’s largest individual shareholder, citing its “highly strategic business with significant potential for growth.”
Pinterest shares soared more than 12 percent when the market opened Tuesday on the news.
In a statement, Elliott executives Jesse Cohn and Marc Steinberg suggested that it had thrown its full support behind Bill Ready, who joined the company at the end of June, with co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann moving to an executive chairman role.
“As the market-leading platform at the intersection of social media, search and commerce, Pinterest occupies a unique position in the advertising and shopping ecosystems, and CEO Bill Ready is the right leader to oversee Pinterest’s next phase of growth,” the statement said, adding that Elliott would continue to work with the executive team “as they drive toward realizing Pinterest’s full potential.”
Elliott has long been active in the media and tech sector. The firm is in the process of trying to take the media measurement giant Nielsen private in a $16 billion deal.
Previously, the company went hostile on Twitter, forcing changes to the company’s board after threatening to oppose Jack Dorsey as CEO. Elliott also went hostile with AT&T, ultimately convincing executives there to reevaluate their holdings (AT&T subsequently spun out both DirecTV and WarnerMedia). It also previously sparred with Universal over a financing deal.
The statement on Pinterest suggests that the firm has been privately engaging with the company for some time, and may have helped spur on the CEO shakeup.