‘A four-day workweek is coming,’ billionaire Mets owner Steve Cohen declares—and you can thank the rapid rise of AI

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A four-day week is imminent, hedge-fund titan and billionaire New York Mets owner Steve Cohen told Andrew Ross Sorkin on Wednesday during a CNBC Squawk Box appearance. 

It’s not because workers have been begging for it, or because studies confirm it improves work outcomes, or even just because it’s universally popular. Rather, Cohen—currently CEO and chairman of his hedge fund, Point72 Asset Management—said the four-day workweek will finally be possible due to the rapid proliferation of AI. 

“My belief is a four-day workweek is coming,” Cohen told Sorkin. “[With] the advent of AI, generally, we hear…people are not as productive on Fridays, and so I just think it’s an eventuality.”

The idea of AI single-handedly improving companies’ bottom lines is an alluring thought; former Treasury secretary and current OpenAI board member Larry Summers recently said he thinks AI could replace “almost all” forms of labor. But he’s also taking a more measured approach, adding, “I don’t think that this is going to drive a productivity miracle in the next three to five years.”

Cohen gave no such predictions. Asked when exactly the shift would be coming, Cohen demurred, saying it’s “hard to know.” But he quickly pivoted towards how he, whose net worth nears $20 billion, stands to profit. 

Investing in pastimes like golf—which would potentially become more popular among his peers, should Fridays at the office go extinct—has become one of his focuses. If people end up having more time to themselves, “anything around…leisure, travel, experiences,” would all make for strong investment areas, he said. 

To some, Cohen may be best known for his eye-popping investments in sports. In 2020, he gained 95% ownership of the New York Mets for over $2.4 billion—the largest-ever sale in Major League Baseball. Last year, Cohen acquired the rights to a New York-based team in TGL, a high-tech golf league started by Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods that plays in partnership with PGA. In January of this year, Cohen—alongside a handful of other billionaire sports owners—reportedly invested a historic $3 billion into the PGA Tour. 

But even if a four-day workweek weren’t on the horizon, “I think I would have done the golf investment anyway, because I think there’s a longer-term thought,” he said. Nonetheless, Cohen’s golf investments, he told Sorkin, “should fit into a theme of more leisure.” More leisure means more golf rounds, he added. “I guess courses will be crowded on Fridays.”

Fridays off may not be such a huge sea change. They already are, by far, the emptiest days at most offices; Steven Roth, the billionaire chairman of commercial landlord Vornado, said Fridays are “dead forever”, and some companies have banned meetings and deadlines after close of business Thursday, after which productivity drops off generally. 

For good measure, Cohen added, just because some companies may enact a four-day workweek sooner than others, his staff at Point72 shouldn’t start reaching for their clubs. If managers at his fund take off Fridays when the market is open, “that’s a problem,” he said. (Cohen is in lockstep with other Wall Street bigwigs who habitually oppose any modernization of the full-time, in-office synchronous workweek, despite what their workforce desires.)

But putting aside hedge fund managers, “the vast majority of people will get an opportunity, I think, at some point, to have a three-game weekend,” Cohen predicted.

That already includes the Mets, for one, who will compete against Detroit in a double-header tomorrow at Citi Field—and face the Reds in Cincinnati all weekend long.

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