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Icahn sues Motorola for company documents

Mon, 03/24/2008 - 8:15am
Brian Santo

Shareholder rights activist Carl Icahn is keeping the pressure on Motorola; he is seeking a court order to force Motorola to turn over documents about its mobile devices business, and also about the activities of certain senior executives.

Icahn, who owns more than 30 million shares of Motorola (about 1.3 percent), has been unhappy with the company’s sagging fortunes. Last year, he attempted to win a seat on Motorola’s board but failed. He was successful, however, in harrying Ed Zander to resign as CEO (Zander remains at Motorola as board chairman).

Throughout his career, Icahn has consistently held that the primary duty of the management of a public company is to increase shareholder value. As he has in the past with many of his other investments when the value of their stocks dropped, Icahn charges that Motorola executives "failed in their duties as directors."

The specific complaint is that Motorola has not spun off the mobile devices business, which in the recent past has been the main drag on the company’s financial results.

Icahn also wants to investigate whether senior executives have made improper use of company aircraft.

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