updated 03:05 pm EDT, Thu October 24, 2013
Option reserved in case Apple executives decline proposal
A shareholder proxy vote is an option if Apple executives don't go along with a $150 billion share buyback proposal, says Carl Icahn in a new CNBC interview. The investor -- who has met with Apple CEO Tim Cook on the matter, and sent an open letter -- states that he isn't "going away," and will continue pursuing an expanded buyback. Asked if he's interested in using a proxy vote, he says that "We'll test the waters and see if the shareholders want us to do it and want us to win."
Icahn suggests that Cook is doing well as Apple's CEO, but argues that the company's board of directors could use someone with an investor's point of view -- other than himself. "I really don't want to spend the time to go on a board at this point," he remarks. Cook's opinion on the letter hasn't been made public, but Icahn says he expects to hear from the CEO after Apple's quarterly results are released on October 28th.
Apple is already engaged in a $60 billion buyback program, partly financed by debt and due to conclude by the end of 2015. Icahn, though, has said he wants an "immediate" $150 billion buyback.