David Benoit reports that Carl Icahn has had a good run this year:
Carl Icahn, long seen as the archenemy of chief executives, is finding the path to the boardroom easier to tread. Mr. Icahn, among the most relentless of activists, secured representatives on more boards this year than he ever has, without resorting to shareholder-vote battles.
"I'm even surprised," Mr. Icahn said in an interview. "Being admitted to all these boards without a proxy fight would have been unthinkable only a year ago."
Mr. Icahn attributes his streak to a new openness among companies to the notion that working with him could be good business. "The thing that changed is people understand that the thing I do is very often successful," he said.
Successful measured how? Icahn has been successful at financial engineering, but has he ever actually made anything? Has any company in which Icahn successfully intervened made better products or offered superior services as a result of his intervention? I stand prepared to be corrected, but my answer is no.