|No Fries With That |
Icahn wants to trim costs
1. Lunchpail GuyThe Time Warner ( TWX) mess is giving Carl Icahn heartburn.
Icahn has lined up some hedge fund pals to rouse the
So this week Icahn turned up the heat. His
This last issue seems closest to the corporate-raider-turned-shareholder-activist's heart. Take the recently constructed Time Warner Center in midtown Manhattan, "which cost the company $800 million to construct and offers such lavish features as a grand employee cafeteria with two-story windows overlooking Central Park," Icahn thundered. "We question how such an extravagant building, which houses only a small fraction of Time Warner's employees, enhances shareholder value (and cannot help but wonder where the shareholders get to eat lunch)." Yes, we ache to know where down-and-outers like Icahn take their midday sustenance. Luckily, a July 1996 profile of Robin Leach -- the man behind Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous -- sheds more light on Icahn's power-lunching ways. Leach "says he was once invited to lunch in New York by two Wall Street heavies, Carl Icahn and Ivan Boesky," London's Daily Telegraph reports. "He not only ended up paying the tab but gave Icahn $20 for a cab." Beyond sticking someone else with the check, Icahn seeks a more sweeping answer to lunchroom profligacy. "Given this extravagance and the failure to cut costs at businesses like Warner Music described above," Icahn wrote Tuesday, "we intend to hire, in the next few weeks, an industry consultant to analyze and compare Time Warner's costs to its peers on a number of different levels." Sounds enlightening. With any luck the consultants will agree to brown-bag it. Dumb-o-Meter score: 91. Everyone knows the best way to cut costs is to hire lots of consultants.