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Financier Carl Icahn steps up campaign for Motorola board seat

Financier Carl Icahn steps up campaign for Motorola board seat

Billionaire financier Carl Icahn made another plea to Motorola Inc. shareholders on Tuesday as part of his down-to-the-wire campaign to win a seat on the company's board.
In a full-page ad published in The Wall Street Journal, Icahn blasted Motorola CEO Ed Zander and other managers for the cell phone maker's continued financial problems and urged shareholders to elect him to the 13-member board during Monday's annual meeting.
"Motorola has stumbled and stumbled badly," Icahn wrote in an open letter to shareholders. "It is a great company with good employees, but has been shaken by leadership setbacks that I believe could have, and in fact should have, been averted."
Motorola, which maintains Icahn isn't qualified for its board, responded in its own letter to shareholders that it isn't convinced the activist shareholder "would commit the time and energy necessary to serve you well as a board member."
"Ask yourself: if Carl Icahn wants to serve on your board, shouldn't he understand the company and its needs?" Zander and lead Motorola director Samuel Scott III wrote in the letter Tuesday. "Shouldn't he have engaged in a dialogue with the company before buying stock and demanding an ill-advised stock buyback?"
Icahn's letter was the latest volley in what has become a full-fledged fight for a seat on the company's board. Since mid-March, he has issued nine messages to the company's shareholders in the form of letters, news releases and proxy filings, according to a search of Securities and Exchange Commission documents.
Leading proxy advisory firms lined up in opposing camps last week _ two recommending that shareholders vote for the dissident investor and a third siding with the world's No. 2 cell-phone maker.
Since January, Icahn and his affiliates have bought 2.9 percent of Motorola's stock, a stake worth nearly $1.3 billion (euro960 million).
Last month, Motorola posted its first quarterly loss since 2004 amid dismal sales in its largest segment, mobile devices.
Motorola shares rose 8 cents to $17.41 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. They are still trading near the lower end of their 52-week range of $17.32 to $26.30.
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On the Net:
http://www.motorola.com


Updated : 2021-08-03 22:36 GMT+08:00