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Billionaire Icahn steps up fight for Motorola board

April 14, 2007|From the Associated Press

CHICAGO — Billionaire investor activist Carl Icahn stepped up his battle to win a seat on Motorola Inc.'s board, telling shareholders in a letter released Friday that the "passive and reactive" current directors were partly to blame for the cellphone maker's problems.

Icahn and his affiliates have recently bought up more than 68 million shares of Motorola stock, a 2.9% stake worth about $1.2 billion.

Icahn said in January that he bought shares because he wanted to use a board position to return more cash to investors.

"Clearly our board members' top priority should be to hold management accountable for fixing Motorola's current operational problems -- and if I am elected to the board I will do so," he wrote.

Motorola spokesman Paul Alfieri said the company's board was highly qualified and had been proactive in implementing changes that increased shareholder value, such as buybacks.

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