Monday, July 09, 2007

Portfolio: First Semel, Now... Zander?

From today's by Russ Mitchell:

Eric Jackson, an emerging Web activist for corporate reform, is calling for the immediate replacement of Motorola Chairman and C.E.O. Ed Zander.

Jackson used a Web campaign to pull together nearly 100 shareholders representing 2 million shares to vote against Yahoo Chairman and C.E.O. Terry Semel last month. Just days after Yahoo's annual meeting, at which Semel called Jackson's questions "cute," Semel stepped down as C.E.O. It's unclear how much credit Jackson can take for Semel's dethronement.

Jackson's "Plan B" for Motorola, in addition to calling for Zander's head, demands the replacement of several board members, calls for the company to outline a long-term vision and strategy for Motorola, and the appointment of a permanent head for the company's mobile devices business.

Jackson also is promoting Edward Lampert of ESL Investments as a board member.

Stock activist Carl Icahn is also pushing for change at the troubled electronics company, whose earnings and stock have tumbled as the company failed to keep up with the fast-changing pace of the wireless telecom industry.

Jackson says he's not talked with Icahn, and points out that while Icahn is focused on Motorola's balance sheet, particularly its cash hoard, Jackson is targeting corporate governance. He runs a leadership consulting firm, Jackson Leadership Systems.

by Russ Mitchell

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