I’m Steve Sorensen, and I’ve written a great deal on some of the great business leaders in the world. While I’ve given credit to the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk, I also think it prudent to shed the spotlight on a rather controversial character who is a legend in his own right – Carl Icahn.
A former advisor to President Donald Trump, Carl Icahn is one of the first names that comes to mind when strategic activism is mentioned. His methods are as mentioned earlier, controversial. Others might even go so far as to call the man, ruthless.
Icahn’s diverse conglomerate holding company, Icahn Enterprises (previously American Real Estate Partners) was built on many business deals that have been frowned upon by other business people throughout the years.
Icahn’s rise to power began in 1961, when he was a stockbroker. It wasn’t until 1968 however, when he founded Icahn & Co., a securities firm. As the firm operated for 10 years, Icahn put great value on arbitrage and options trading, while studying target businesses. He planned long-term on how to acquire power from and take over said businesses
But it was Icahn’s acquisition of Trans World Airlines (TWA) that put him on the map, and not in a favorable light to more “traditional business practitioners.” He paid sold TWA’s assets, paid off the loan he used to buy TWA. Earning $470 million from the entire deal, TWA was left $550 million in debt.
While many business experts find Icahn’s methods to be distasteful, they were legal and more importantly, successful.
I’m Steve Sorensen, an investment strategist and business graduate from Iowa State University. I am fascinated by the success of Fortune 500 companies and blog about the developments that led to the exponential growth in net worth of the world’s most successful companies. For more articles on successful businesses and companies, visit this page.