Icahn’s tactic appears to be driven more by publicity seeking than by his notorious penny pinching.
Blogging software is available for free. Yet the SEC has a much bigger audience than Icahn’s moribund web site, The Icahn Report. (”Blog coming soon,” says the 5-month-old home page.)
Icahn posts regularly, in a tone that comes closer to a Perez Hilton rant about Britney than a Warren Buffett letter to shareholders. A few recent gems, from Icahn’s series of letters to Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock:
June 4: I have long been cynical about the effectiveness of many of the boards and CEOs in this country and as a result the inability of our companies to compete. I have constantly complained about how far CEOs and boards will go in order to retain their jobs, yet even I am amazed at the length Jerry Yang and the Yahoo
board have gone to in order to entrench their positions and keep shareholders from deciding if they wished to sell to Microsoft.
June 6: “Roy, it is you who “misrepresents and misstates the details” of the plan. Much like the rhetoric in many well known political campaigns, you keep repeating misstatements in the hopes that by repeating misstatements enough times it will convince your shareholders that these misstatements are valid.”
June 9: “…You made approximately $10,000 per week last year - not bad for a board member. I believe most of your shareholders would be interested in seeing your time sheets - especially in light of the fact that, in my estimation, most of your so-called “plans” over the last few years have been failures.
“…I ask again what your great ‘plan’ has been over the last few years. Why did you permit Google to leave you in the dust?”
Icahn has proposed his own slate for the Yahoo board of directors. The 10 nominees, including himself, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, New Line Cinema co-CEO Robert Shaye, and former Viacom chief Frank Biondi, will be up for election at the company’s annual meeting on July 3.