Carl Icahn wants a say in Motorola's ( MOT) strategy. The swashbuckling rich guy has amassed a large stake in Motorola and has asked to be voted onto the company's board of directors. Motorola says it has not scheduled its 2007 annual meeting and that Icahn did not indicate his intentions other than getting a board seat, according to a federal filing. Icahn and his investment entities own about 33.5 million shares, or 1.39% of the company's outstanding stock. That puts him on a list with big holders like Fidelity with 3.5% and Legg Mason with 1.79%. Investors cheered the move, sending the stock up 6%. Icahn, a so-called shareholder activist, has a track record of stimulating changes at companies where he's taken board positions. He was a controversial figure recently with Time Warner ( TWX), urging the company to spin off businesses and forcing a huge stock buyback. Motorola has had three quarters of disappointing performances and recently announced it would cut 3,500 workers as part of its plan to address the problem. Motorola's fortunes soared on the popularity of its two-year-old ultrathin Razr phone, but as the phone trends changed the company was left without a successor product to take up the slack. The weakness at Motorola has helped revive Finnish phone giant Nokia ( NOK). And with Motorola preparing no potential blockbuster phones for introduction anytime soon, industry observers fear Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone will soon take a big slice of the U.S. business.
Even though AT&T tried a last-minute bribe of promising 5,000 new U.S. jobs to help gain support for the deal, the Justice Department filed a complaint to fight the combination of the nation's No. 2 and No. 4 wireless carriers.