Icahn calls for corporate governance reforms

27 January 2009

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has called for a major overhaul of US corporate governance and more power for shareholders in response to the current economic downturn.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, the hedge fund chief said reshaping corporate rules could do much more to repair the economy in the long-term than government spending, Reuters reports.

He called on Congress to pass new laws granting stockholders greater powers over board elections and executive compensation policies. Mr Icahn also called for enhanced abilities to submit resolutions for shareholder votes.

Alongside these new powers, policymakers should also introduce legislation to prevent executives from making it harder for those with company holdings to exercise their ownership rights.

"It is time for change and the place to start is in the corporate boardrooms of America," Mr Icahn wrote.

After scoring big in the 1980s with takeovers of Texaco and USX, Mr Icahn now oversees Icahn Partners, which in 2006 managed around $2.5 billion in assets, Forbes reports.

That same year, he was ranked at number 53 in the magazine's billionaires list.

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