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Tuesday, 15 May 2018 23:42

Carl Icahn wins big at Xerox and the Resulting Board Shuffle Featured

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Xerox ended a planned $6.1 billion deal with Fujifilm, in which Fuji would take control of Xerox,  and reached a new agreement with activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who have a combined 15% stake at the company and have been opposing the Fujifilm deal. They launched a campaign to stop the merger and oust top managers, including CEO Jeff Jacobson, 58. Jacobson was a particular target as Icahn accused him  of rushing into the Fujifilm deal and acting against board instructions, something that he board denied in April. Jacobson was named CEO January 2017. He had been President and prior to that COO of the Xerox Technology business, and president of Global Graphic Communications Operations joining in 2012. Prior to joining Xerox, he served as Chairman &  CEO of Presstek. 

The series of shuffles started in December 2017. Jonathan Christodoro, 41, former managing director of Icahn Capital, resigned from Xerox’s board over disagreements over the company’s future direction. This dissolved the 2016 agreement between Icahn and Xerox and paved the way for Carl Icahn’s affiliated funds to submit nominations for four candidates for the  2018 nominations. 

The investors have struck a deal with the Xerox board, to replace Jacobson and six other existing directors - Robert J. Keegan, Charles Prince, Ann N. Reese, William Curt Hunter, Sara Martinez Tucker and Stephen H. Rusckowski – who will each resign from the Board, with their own representatives - Keith Cozza, John Visentin, Jay Firestone, Nicholas Graziano, Randolph Read and Scott Letier.

Xerox’s new board members, assuming the deal between Icahn and Xerox doesn’t fall through:

  • Xerox’s New Chairman - Keith Cozza, 38, the CEO of Icahn Enterprises L.P.
  • Xerox’s New Vice Chairman and CEO - Giovanni (John) Visentin, 55, former Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Exela,  Advent International Partner,   and former IBM and HP executive.  
  • Jaffrey (Jay) A. Firestone, 62, has served as Chairman and CEO at Prodigy Pictures. He is a former executive at Xerox, IBM and American Express.
  • Nicholas Graziano, 44, has served as Portfolio Manager of Icahn Capital and is a former investment banker. Graziano serves on the Board of Herbalife.  
  • Randolph C. Read, 64, has been President and CEO of Nevada Strategic Credit Investments since 2009.  He is a former CFO of several companies, including Stone Container Corp. Cintas Corp. and others.
  • Scott Letier has been Managing Director of family office Deason Capital Services. He currently serves on the Boards of various private companies, including Stellar Global, Colvin Resources Group and Grow 52. Scott has served as a CFO at 2M Companies and Red River Ventures amongst others.

Board members leaving the XEROX board:

  • Chairman of the board, Robert J. Keegan, 70, is retired Chairman, CEO and President of  The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
  • Charles Prince, 68, is retired Chairman and CEO, Citigroup.
  • Ann N. Reese, 65, is Executive Director, Center for Adoption Policy which she co-founded in 2001.
  • William Curt Hunter, 70, is now Dean Emeritus and former Dean, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa.
  • Sara Martinez Tucker, 63, is retired CEO of National Math and Science Initiative and is the former Under Secretary of Education in the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Stephen H. Rusckowski, 60, is Chairman, President and CEO of Quest Diagnostics.

Former CEO of Rothchild Asset Management, Cheryl Krongard, 62, Motorola Solutions’ Chair/CEO Gregory Brown, 57, and former CEO of Deloitte Joseph Echevarria, 61, will continue to serve as members of Xerox’s board.

Date: May 15, 2018

Read 1083 times Last modified on Monday, 06 July 2020 10:32
Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults,, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

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