Editor’s note: The headline on this blog has been changed to reflect a view of icahn’s comments in the entire context of his interview with Dan Primack.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – In a moment of candor last week, multi-billionaire Carl Icahn questioned his decisions last year to pour more than $100 million into Motricity.
After the Durham-based mobile technology firm disclosed plans to lay off most of its 350-person Durham headquarters and move its headquarters to Washington State, Icahn told Private Equity Hub’s Dan Primack that the Motricity deal wasn’t one of his best.
Here’s Primack’s note from a PEHub post:
“I did ask Icahn why he did a pure venture capital deal last year for Motricity, which is now laying off 250 workers and moving its headquarters out of North Carolina. He answered that his son came to him with the deal one night, and he basically said “Why not?” He now admits it probably wasn’t a good decision, but still expressed faith in the company’s technology.”
Icahn’s son, Brett, is a member of the Motricity board.
The verbal slam from Icahn can’t give the body-slammed egos at Motricity any boost.
We might know more about how Icahn feels about Motricity were he able to publish a blog that he wants to write. However, Icahn said recently that every time he writes something his lawyers tell him to tear it up.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Wuerch told WRAL.com and WRAL LTW in an exclusive interview that the decision to gut the Durham office, give up its posh headquarters and move West was a decision made by executive management and supported by the board.
Motricity will either sub-let or leave behind a Taj Mahal office that covers more than 70,000 square feet at the American Tobacco Complex in Durham. As one observer told me last week: “It is so ‘90s.”
In other words, something that harkens back to the VC cash burn days preceding the “dot com” crash.
(By the way, Primack is a very familiar face in Triangle venture capital circles. He helps put on the annual VC business plan contest at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler business school.)