A member of the firm since 2001, Eric opened Joele Frank’s San Francisco office in 2014. He provides strategic communications counsel to clients involved in special situations, including M&A transactions, shareholder activism, data breaches, complex litigation, management changes, regulatory investigations, and other crisis events. His areas of expertise include:
- Mergers & Acquisitions: He advises clients on the communications challenges involved in both friendly and unsolicited M&A transactions. Notable assignments include Symantec in its acquisition of Blue Coat Systems, Thermo Fisher Scientific in its acquisition of Affymetrix, Altera in its sale to Intel, Symantec in its sale of Veritas to The Carlyle Group, Aruba Networks in its sale to HP, Informatica in its sale to Permira, J.M. Smucker in its acquisition of Big Heart Pet Brands, Amgen in its acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Life Technologies in their merger, Merck in its merger with Schering-Plough, Microsoft in its unsolicited acquisition proposal for Yahoo!, Electronic Arts in its unsolicited acquisition proposal for Take-Two, PeopleSoft in its defense against Oracle’s hostile takeover, Public Storage in its unsolicited acquisition of Shurgard, and SIRIUS in its merger with XM. Spin-off experience includes Symantec (Veritas), JDS Uniphase (Lumentum), and Ralcorp (Post Foods).
- Shareholder Activism & Short Attacks: Assignments include Citrix (Elliott), Shutterfly (Marathon), Informatica (Elliott), JDSU (Sandell), Electronic Arts (Relational), lululemon (Chip Wilson), Jamba Juice (Engaged), Ralcorp (Corvex), Clearwater Paper (SAC), Astex Pharmaceuticals (Sarissa), Comverge (Raging), Ceridian (Pershing Square), Cyberonics (Metropolitan), Houston Exploration (JANA), Nu Skin (short sellers), and Questcor (short sellers).
- Crisis Communications: He advises companies facing a variety of crisis situations, including data breaches, litigation, restructurings, fraud and accounting irregularities, government investigations, regulatory actions, internal/board investigations, product recalls, workforce reductions and facility closures, and sudden management changes.
- Public Relations and Investor Relations: He develops and implements corporate communications and IR programs to help clients achieve their business objectives. He also provides communications support to private equity firms, including L Catterton and TowerThree Partners, at both the sponsor and portfolio company level. He has also advised boards and management teams on matters of governance and succession, including advising the co-founder and Chairman of NIKE with respect to his ownership and leadership of NIKE and his ultimate transition as Chairman.
Eric serves on the Board of the San Francisco Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI). In 2014 Eric was named one of PR Week’s 40 Under 40. Prior to joining Joele Frank, Eric worked for Vice President Al Gore during the 2000 presidential campaign. During that time, he worked on the Democratic National Convention and participated in the Florida election recount. He provided pro bono public relations counsel to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School, when HMI was preparing to launch its new, publicly-funded New York City high school. Eric received a BA from the University at Albany and an MSc from the London School of Economics.