Icahn pens letter to Motorola shareholders

May 1, 2007 at 10:38 AM

NEW YORK, May 1 (UPI) -- U.S. billionaire investor Carl Icahn said Motorola Inc. is run by a man whose reported comments are "something straight out of Alice in Wonderland."

In a full-page letter to shareholders in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, Icahn -- who wants a seat on Motorola's board -- said the Schaumburg, Ill., cell-phone maker "has stumbled, and stumbled badly." He said the problems are a result of "leadership setbacks" that "must be addressed."

Icahn's letter also includes a reference to an April 27 Journal article in which people said Chief Executive Ed Zander more than once stated: "I love my job. I hate my customers."

Motorola told the Journal Zander may have used a similar phrase in a teasing manner, but only to point out what he viewed as a lack of customer focus when he arrived at Motorola.

"It sounds like something straight out of Alice in Wonderland," Icahn wrote.

Motorola's board opposes Icahn's nomination, saying he does not know Motorola's business.

Icahn, who controls 2.9 percent of Motorola stock, has said he wants to pressure Motorola to improve profit margins and return more cash to shareholders. Motorola shareholders will vote on the seat eyed by Icahn at the company's annual shareholders meeting Monday.

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