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Icahn writes directly to Moto investors

Motorola investors received a letter from the billionaire, Carl Icahn, Friday urging them to vote him on to the company’s board of directors.

Citing the company’s “operational failures” Icahn’s attempted lure contains much about his achievements and his devotion to fixing the ailing handset maker. In the letter he said: “”My experience tells me that Motorola’s problems reflect not only operational failures, but are also symptoms of a passive and reactive Board.”

He goes on to say that the board needs to take responsibility for the way the company is performing. “Clearly our Board members’ top priority should be to hold management accountable for fixing Motorola’s current operational problems — and if I am elected to the Board I will do so.”

Icahn first made his intentions for Moto clear in January when he told Motorola that he hoped to be elected to its board of directors. By March, things became tense with Motorola announcing that it would not endorse his nomination to the board. In a proxy letter sent at the time, Moto confirmed it had received notice that Icahn entities were intent on nominating the billionaire to the board at the company’s next AGM on May 7. The proxy read: “The board urges you to not sign any proxy cards sent to you by the Icahn affiliates… Mr. Icahn’s nomination has not been endorsed by your board of directors.”

But the corporate raider stepped up his campaign weeks later by increasing his stake in the company and initiating a proxy fight after demanding the firm give more return on its cash to investors.

In his letter Friday Icahn told investors that if he were nominated to the board, he would do so “with no preconceived notions”.

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