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T.J. Rodgers' Letter to Forbes Editor Larry Light | Cypress Semiconductor

T.J. Rodgers' Letter to Forbes Editor Larry Light

Last Updated: 
Sep 03, 2009

April 22, 2003

Mr. Larry Light
Forbes Magazine
60 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10011

Dear Mr. Light:

What happens when you have an immature reporter with a mean streak and opt not to manage her, so as not to stifle her "creativity?" You get the article, “Cypress Has Too Many Options," a hit piece whose publication demeans Forbes more than the intended target of the article.

Forbes "analysis" of Cypress Semiconductor opens with a folksy "Cypress has too darn many options floating around" and closes with the boid recommendation, "Short the low-riding shares, cover at $3" The only interesting part of the otherwise numbingly boring article is my quote on "recto-cranial insertion?

Since the publication, several of our major shareholders have told us that our option position was already well known to them, based on numerous disclosures and discussions, and that the Forbes article was stale "news." I have received only two letters on the topic, both from small shareholders. Our big shareholders make their buy/sell decisions based on a more meaningful analysis of our fundamentals, like our competitive positioning (we’re No. 1 or No. 2 in the world in each of our four product lines), our new solar cell venture (weve demonstrated 22.5% efficiency, the most efficient silicon solar cells ever produced), and our process technology (weve just introduced a 72-megabit static random access memory with 500 million transistors and 0.09-micron linewidth).

Elizabeth MacDonald dodged the difficulty of learning about those challenging details by substituting reading SEC documents for meaningful analysis. When a negatively biased conclusion is pre-ordained (as it seemed to be in all recent articles of hers we reviewed), SEC documents will always provide some numbers to support it.

MacDonald recommended to Forbes readers that they short Cypress shares at $7.37 and cover at $3.00. Our shares did not change in price when the Forbes analysis was published. They have since risen over 20% to $9.00 , based on the good news our company is creating.

Has Liz covered her short yet? Or is she boldly holding out? Does anyone at Forbes even keep track of the financial outcome of her ersatz buy/sell recommendations? Or is that level of responsibility only for those of us who have to make SEC filings? My final email on this topic will come to you before the end of this year——when Cypress shares have appreciated 100% in value relative to their price on the day before the Forbes article.

Your article on Cypress was superficial, mean-spirited and-——worse for Forbes—deemed irrelevant by the investment community; shame on Elizabeth MacDonald for doing such poor work. Its publication also demeaned Forbes Magazine; shame on you for publishing it.


T.J. Rodgers
President & CEO

Cypress Employees
Cypress Board of Directors
Steve Forbes