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Icahn Has Motorola in His Sites

Call it the Icahn Effect. Motorola stock jumped 6 percent today on news that controversial shareholder Carl Icahn asked for a seat on the board of the troubled cell phone maker.

In a terse statement, Motorola said it had confirmed receipt of a notice "from certain Carl Icahn entities" for Icahn's nomination to the company’s 13-member board of directors at the upcoming 2007 annual stockholders' meeting. Although Motorola hasn't set a date for the meeting, it's traditionally held the first week in May, spokesman Paul Alfieri told internetnews.com. All 13 current Motorola board members will stand for reelection, Alfieri said.

Motorola said it is reviewing the nomination and will decide at the next board meeting the company's next step. Alfieri refused to provide further detail.

Icahn owns 33.529 million (1.3 percent ) of Motorola’s outstanding shares.

Icahn is a marquee name in the realm of boardroom activism. He recently ended an attempt to gain more stockholder control over media giant Time Warner .

Motorola stock fell after chairman and CEO Ed Zander Jan. 19 revealed a 48 percent drop in fourth quarter 2006 income and plans to cut 3,500 workers.

The bleak financial picture came after the company revised downward its earning expectation.

Despite shipping more than 67 million handsets for the quarter, Motorola said earnings by its Mobile Devices unit fell.

Motorola blamed "an unfavorable geographical and product-tier mix" for the shortfall, as internetnews.com previously reported.

Analysts said the second-place handset maker stumbled when its KRZR device failed to match the popularity of the earlier RAZR slimline phone.

Motorola shares rose 6.5 percent to $19.51 in mid-afternoon trading today.