Carl Icahn is planning for Dell Inc.'s future without its founder and CEO, Michael Dell.
Icahn and his partner, Southeastern Asset Management, are locked in a battle over Dell's future with Michael Dell and his partners, led by private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners. The latter have proposed a $24.4 billion buyout to take Dell private, an offer accepted by Dell's board. The former call that deal "the great giveaway" and have suggested a leveraged recapitalization instead.
Icahn and Southeastern still have a long way to go to make that recapitalization a reality, starting with the defeat of the Michael Dell-Silver Lake deal in a shareholder vote next month, followed by a successful proxy battle to replace Dell's board of directors. But Icahn and Southeastern are already mulling who would lead a Dell under their control.
The two are putting together a shortlist of potential CEOs to replace Dell. Among the names to make the cut are Cisco Systems board member Michael Capellas, former IBM executive Michael Daniels, Oracle Corp. President Michael Hurd and Hewlett-Packard's personal-computer chief, Todd Bradley, Reuters reports.
Dell has called the Icahn-Southeastern deal "unrealistic" and claims it has a $3.9 billion funding gap. But several large Dell investors are siding with the two, including T. Rowe Price and Yacktman Asset Management.
"We are going to vote against the Silver Lake deal," Don Yacktman said. "Southeastern and Icahn make a strong case to go the other way."