Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Grassroot Activism Next Target: Motorola (MOT)

Shares of Motorola (NYSE: MOT) are moving higher today on speculation CEO Ed Zander could step down.

Recently, grassroots activist investor Eric Jackson, who was part of a successfully effort to push Terry Semel out as CEO of Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), has targeted Motorola. Jackson is looking for the head of Zander, among other things. Link

Jackson outlines five items in his plan: 1. Replace Ed Zander as Chairman and CEO immediately; 2. Replace Judy Lewent, Nicolas Negroponte, Samuel Scott III, and Dr. John White on the Motorola Board of Directors.; 3. Appoint Edward Lampert to the Motorola Board and others with deep communications experience.; 4. Outline the long-term vision and strategy for Motorola.; 5. Appoint a Permanent Head of the Mobile Devices Business.

Jackson also offered an option for others to offer comments/suggestions/additions to the plan, via a wiki, before he formally submits it to the Motorola board. Link

So far Jackson has pledges from 33 investors, who control 60,494 shares, supporting his proposal. Link

Major activist investor, Carl Icahn, recently lost a bid to become a Motorola Board member. In May, Icahn said his group held a $1.2 billion equity interest in the Company.

Wouldn't it be exciting if Icahn pledges his shares in support of the grassroots effort?

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