Carl Icahn and Motorola Inc. CEO Ed Zander wont be sharing the board room after all. Icahn has failed to win a seat on the board after a shareholder vote this week at the annual meeting in Chicago.
Existing board members, however, were re-elected, perhaps an indicator that shareholders were willing to stick with Zanders plan to right the troubled mobile device and equipment maker. Icahn has been a vocal critic of Zanders leadership, saying a major operational overhaul is necessary to bring Motorola right again, after the vendor posted a first-quarter loss and a bleak 2007 outlook, an about-face for the No. 2 handset maker, which home of the wildly popular RAZR.
Zander, however, blamed part of the troubles on the lack of 3G devices in the portfolio, and plans to release new handsets to eliminate the issue over the course of the year, beginning with two new products next week.
Will Motorola recover? That is the question many are asking, said analyst Jeff Kagan in a brief. Kagan added that ups and downs are par for the course in the handset game. I don’t see a reason why not. As long as they grasp the industry again and come out with other hot products. But remember, if they heat up again, it may only be for a period of a few quarters or a few years before this happens again.
Icahn, who holds a 3 percent stake in Motorola, said the investment is still a good one, and that he has no plans to sell his shares, according to Reuters, as long as Zander can make good on his promises.
Motorola Inc. www.motorola.com