Icahn And Zander Cite Proxy Studies In Motorola Board Battle

Corporate raider Carl Icahn is seeking a Motorola board seat, while Motorola CEO Ed Zander maintains Icahn's lack of high-tech experience will be a problem.
With a Motorola shareholder vote less than two weeks away, the battle lines between corporate raider Carl Icahn and Motorola CEO and chairman Ed Zander hardened, with both citing proxy advisory firm reports to support their differing stances.

Arguing that the struggling firm needs operational changes, billionaire investor Icahn is seeking a Motorola board seat, while Zander maintains Icahn's lack of high-tech experience will be a problem.

Icahn picked up support from proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Proxy Governance early Wednesday, but Motorola quickly countered with a proxy report of its own from Glass Lewis & Co.

Citing Icahn's long history of often creating value for stockholders, ISS said: "In our opinion, it's more likely than not Icahn will act as a positive influence on the board by providing a fresh perspective."

Zander cited the Glass Lewis report, which argues that Icahn's "plan for improving Motorola's current position is short on details. Furthermore, while we acknowledge Mr. Icahn's lengthy record in generating shareholder value in turnaround situations, without a definitive plan put forth, shareholders are left to rely solely on Mr. Icahn's record and generic calls for a more engaged board."

Glass Lewis also noted that Zander recently acted decisively in naming a new COO and CFO.

Motorola's earnings have suffered in recent months, largely because sales of its once-popular Razr handset line have suffered. In a statement Wednesday, Zander said the firm has "the right strategy and the right board in place" to improve Motorola's mobile device business.

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