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Boone Pickens praises another 'corporate raider' for Time list

by Jay F. Marks Published: April 24, 2014

Time magazine has released its latest list of the most influential people in the world.

Activist shareholder Carl Icahn, who owns a large stake in Chesapeake Energy Corp., made this year’s list of the top 100 difference-makers.

The magazine chose Oklahoma native Boone Pickens to write about Icahn‘s influence.

Pickens said he and Icahn have been described with many of the same terms – “Corporate raider.” “Asset stripper.” “Bloodsucking ghoul.” — but they aren’t accurate depictions of the man he described of his friend for decades.

“Sure, Carl is about as smooth as a stucco bathtub. But he is the best thing going for corporate America. Call Carl what you want, but recognize him for what he is: a shareholder activist. And an effective one at that.

“Carl demands change in a corporate America more focused on maintaining the status quo. Carl brings ideas to the table. Creative, problem-solving ideas. And he backs them all up with major investments in the companies he gets involved with. More often than not, he’s right. They listen to Carl. Changes are made. Companies and corporate America improve.

“In the process, Carl has consistently done more for shareholders than any CEO. And, of course, Carl makes money. What’s not to like about Carl … and America?”

It is Icahn’s first time on the list, which included President Barack Obama for the ninth time.

The 2014 Time 100 features a record 41 women, Time editor Nancy Gibbs said.

“The TIME 100 is a list of the world’s most influential men and women, not its most powerful…. The vast majority of this year’s roster reveals that while power is certain, influence is subtle. Power is a tool, influence is a skill…. If there is a common theme in many of the tributes, it’s the eagerness to see what some engineer, actor, leader or athlete will do next. As much as this exercise chronicles the achievements of the past year, we also focus on figures whose influence is likely to grow, so we can look around the corner to see what is coming.”

by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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