'It's Darn Near Unprecedented': Neil Cavuto Previews His Interview With Carl Icahn
Next Tuesday, Neil Cavuto sits down with legendary businessman Carl Icahn. Below, check out a preview from Neil on the rare, must-see interview. Then, tune in Tuesday, February 11, to Your World at 4p ET on Fox News Channel for the full interview!
There is perhaps no phone call CEOs fear more in this country than hearing from their assistant, “It’s Carl Icahn, on line one.”
For good reason.
They can hang up.
But Icahn has a habit of hanging on.
So it is equally fitting, and perhaps doubly special that this corporate party-crasher who has made his fame on the phone, and conducted almost all media inquiries on the phone, is coming to talk to us, face-to-face, on Fox.
It’s exclusive. And it’s darn near unprecedented. And for Icahn, it’s all for a reason.
“I want to reach a big audience,” he tells me. “I have stuff to say, and I want to reach a lot of people to say it.”
So get ready for what, come next Tuesday, could be one for the mogul interview ages!!
First some perspective on the man himself – the man for whom the term “corporate raider” was coined.
Usually, Icahn seeks out those companies whose stocks he says are under-performing.
So he takes a stake in the company, sometimes large, sometimes, as in the case of Apple recently, statistically small.
But all with the same aim… to get under management’s skin, and get them moving that stock.
Usually Icahn demands they sell off assets, or buy back more stock.
In some cases, he goes even further… suggesting the boss he’s phoning, just pack up and start leaving.
Usually they don’t… right away.
But Carl Celian Icahn is patient. And he is relentless. And for the better part of four decades, even his fiercest critics admit he has single-handedly changed the behavior of the guys who run those companies.
Icahn says because it’s all about reminding them all who “really” runs those companies, and who’s “really” the boss.
And Icahn is their voice.
And for many, the catalyst for them getting extra cash.
Just the news that Icahn has taken a position in a company invariably produces what Wall Streeters have come to call, “the Icahn bump.”
The stock moves up as news spreads Carl Icahn is moving in.
It’s a consistent pattern. At RJR Nabisco, and Texaco, Phillips Petroleum, Marvel Comics, Fairmont Hotels, Blockbuster, Time Warner.
Icahn lights the match. And things get hot.
Sometimes it works out for shareholders. It always seems to work out for Carl.
Because even when he doesn’t get his way, Icahn seems to always get his money.
Forbes pegs his wealth at north of $20 billion dollars, and much of that over just the last year or so, thanks to timely and shrewd bets on Netflix and vitamin maker Herbalife.
Even when Icahn failed to thwart Michael Dell from taking his company private at what Icahn called, “a ridiculously low price,” he still ended up forcing Dell and Silver Lake partners to up their bid.
It was classic Icahn – a 77-year-old former options trader, out-hustling a high-tech legend at his own game, via Twitter.
Because it’s on Twitter that Icahn announces all his initial investments to his more than 140,000 craving fans.
He is fond of saying “they’re the boss,” and of shareholders in general, “they’re the boss’ boss.”
Icahn has spent 40 years reminding shareholders of that, as much as he had corporate CEOs of that.
Talk to Icahn, and he’ll wince at the corporate raider label, but not at the results his raids have yielded. He talks of shareholders emboldened and corporate America more responsive.
But his critics say he’s also spurred growing investor impatience. They argue Icahn’s raids are much more about short-term thinking, than long-term planning, and that this has put companies on ever shorter investment leashes; that they have less time to work out strategy and bear the fruit of the research and development. Icahn says nonsense – that research shouldn’t come at the price of a stock that fails to move.
Regardless where you come down, Icahn has forever shaken Wall Street up. He has changed the landscape of capitalism itself, devoting himself not only to shareholder causes, but taking some of the billions he has earned doing so, into providing scholarships for hundreds of boys at private prep schools, to bionics research at his alma mater Princeton University and through a huge grant to New York Mt. Sinai hospital.
Not many know that side of Icahn, just as not many know this man who has decorated the cover of Time, and has also shown up at an occasional comedy club or two.
As one admirer put it, “Carl leaves you guessing, but he doesn’t ever leave you bored.”