January 23, 2009 / 8:01 AM / 10 years ago

Icahn calls for corporate governance reform

Investor Carl Icahn speaks at the Wall Street Journal Deals & Deal Makers conference, held at the New York Stock Exchange, June 27, 2007. REUTERS/Chip East

(Reuters) - Activist investor Carl Icahn called for U.S. corporate governance reforms such as enhanced rights for shareholders in response to the economic crisis.

“It is time for change and the place to start is in the corporate boardrooms of America,” Icahn wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

New government spending can only do so much to repair the economy and reshaping corporate management can do much more, he wrote, arguing Congress needs to pass legislation giving shareholders enhanced rights to elect new boards, submit resolutions for stockholder votes and have far more input on executive compensation and other issues.

As companion to these reforms, Congress needs to pass legislation which prevents managers from making it more difficult for shareholders to exercise their ownership rights, he said.

Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore; Editing by David Holmes

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