January 23, 2018
Two of the OEM’s largest shareholders have co-signed a caustic letter criticising the Board of Directors.
Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, respectively Xerox’s first and third largest shareholders, with 15 percent of the company owned between them, have joined forces to oppose the OEM’s proposed joint venture with Fujifilm, reports Dallas News.
The pair have been separately critical of Xerox’s Board, but have now co-written a letter to fellow shareholders in which they criticise the ‘old guard’ of directors, and call for the election of four new ones.
“We have little faith Xerox’s ‘old guard’ directors will listen to us,” the letter read, “which is why real change is needed now more than ever.”
The investors added: “Every day that the ‘old guard’ remains in power – feebly overseeing the company’s steady decline – is a waste of time that could inevitably erode the value of our investment down to nothing.”
The pair are also calling for the immediate replacement of CEO Jeff Jacobson, who took up the role barely a year ago, and who has been previously savaged by Icahn, who called him “incapable of introducing new products that do more than play catch-up to competitors” and blamed him for the company’s downwards financial trajectory.
Deason last week wrote a public letter to the Board of Directors, calling for the terms of its agreement with Fujifilm to be both disclosed and renegotiated, calls which Icahn has now joined him to reiterate. Icahn has also previously suggested abandoning the current joint venture, Fuji Xerox, as a result of an accounting probe into its practices in Australia and New Zealand.
In a statement released by email, the Board has responded, declared themselves “confident with the strategic direction” of Xerox, and pledged to carry on working to create value for its shareholders.
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