Bill Ackman says he never made ‘no-hire list’ after controversial Harvard letter

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By Dan Sears

Hedge fund titan Bill Ackman pushed back on claims he created a “No-Hire list” of Harvard students who signed a letter blaming Israel for Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 assault.

Ackman — one of the first Wall Street tycoons to urge Ivy League schools to publicize the names of student leaders — was called out by journalist Glenn Greenwald for allegedly attempting to blacklist those students.

However, the head of Pershing Square Capital Management insisted he has made no blanket demands they be banned from Wall Street in a heated exchange with Greenwald on X.

It’s just that there is no place for them at his firm, he clarified.

“I never compiled a ‘No-Hire list,’” Ackman wrote on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter on Thursday.

“Rather, I simply posted that the students who support the statement that Israel is ‘solely responsible’ for the evil and barbaric acts of Hamas are not individuals that I would like to hire for any company in which we are involved.”

Greenwald, the host of the news show “System Update” that’s uploaded to Rumble, had tweeted a clip from an interview with two Harvard students he said were put on a “No-Hire list compiled by billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.”

During the interview, Amari Butler — a member of the student group African American Resistance Organization (AARO), which signed the controversial anti-Israel letter — also spoke on the “doxxing truck” that circled Harvard University’s campus to expose Ivy Leaguers allegedly involved in the letter.

Billionaire Bill Ackman has clarified that he never actually compiled a “no-hire list” of students involved in the dozens of groups that signed a letter blaming Israel for Hamas’ violent Oct. 7 assault so as to make sure they don’t land a job.

Butler said the billboard-bearing box truck — deployed by news watchdog Accuracy in Media.— and Ackman’s demand to blacklist students from Wall Street gigs were “shameful” attacks that made the students seem “racist.”

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Butler also pointed out that “the vast majority of the people being doxxed and harassed…are either black, Muslim, Arab students, Palestinian.”

Ackman in his post made it clear that he did not have “any involvement with trucks driving around Harvard campus,” and refuted Butler’s assertions that race has anything to do with his motives.

“Despite the young woman’s statement to the contrary, not seeking to hire supporters of Hamas does not make me a racist,” he wrote.

“To put it simply, I don’t want any supporters of terrorism in our company. I and other of our employees support the Palestinians, but we don’t support terrorism in any form, regardless of the cause it purports to represent. It is unfortunate that certain students and others cannot distinguish between support for Palestinians and support for Hamas.”

Greenwald fired back at Ackman’s response to his Thursday night interview with Butler and fellow AARO member Kojo Acheampong, doubling down on the fact that “everything I said is true.”

“1) I didn’t say he had anything to do with the truck. 2) He repeatedly called for a list of names of students not to be hired. 3) Happy to have him on to talk about it,” Greenwald wrote.

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In the wake of Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 34 student groups co-signed a letter that blamed Israelis for the massacre that resulted in thousands of deaths.
News watchdog Accuracy in Media deployed a “doxxing truck” on the Ivy League campus exposing the students allegedly involved in the groups that signed off on the controversial anti-Israel message.
Jason Furman/X

Ackman had put pressure on Harvard to publish lists bearing the names of the members of the 34 groups that initially attached their names to the letter last month, justifying his wish in a post on X that said: “It is not harassment to seek to understand the character of the candidates that you are considering for employment.”

“Would you hire someone who was a member of a school club who issued a statement blaming lynchings by the KKK on their victims?” Ackman wrote in the post. “I don’t think so.”

At least a dozen business executives endorsed the publication of the list, including Jonathan Newman, CEO of salad chain Sweetgreen; David Duel, CEO of healthcare services firm EasyHealth; and Ale Resnik, the CEO of rental-housing startup Belong.

In the wake of the uproar on Harvard’s campus over the divisive letter, which failed to openly condemn Hamas, embattled Harvard President Claudine Gay launched an advisory board to combat antisemitism.

In an update shared on Thursday, Gay said the board and its members — comprised of school administrators, professors, and students — “are seeking to identify external partnerships that will allow Harvard to learn from and work with others on our strategy.”

Gay also said the advisory board was also implementing “a robust program of education and training for students, faculty, and staff on antisemitism broadly and at Harvard specifically,” and encouraged students to use an “anonymous reporting hotline for incidents of bias.”

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The Post has sought comment from Harvard and Ackman, and his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management

Embattled Harvard President Claudine Gay launched an advisory board to combat antisemitism late last month.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

Ackman doesn’t seem to think the advisory board is enough, and would rather the school discipline the students involved in the anti-Israel message.

“The failure to discipline students who have bullied, assaulted or otherwise been abusive to Jewish students under the guise of free speech or a supposed requirement to wait for the completion of a police and FBI investigation is similarly absurd,” the billionaire shared on X on Friday.

He also referenced recent protests at MIT hosted by student group MIT Coalition Against Apartheid — which was involved in a statement the day after the Hamas attacks of Oct. 7, saying they “hold the Israeli regime responsible for all unfolding violence.”

“The failure of Harvard, MIT and other universities to discipline protesters who violate their rules emboldens the protesters to more aggressive, disruptive and antisemitic actions. This has created a climate of fear that is not conducive to a university education,” added Ackman, who is married to Israeli-born MIT professor Neri Oxman.

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