'Portfolio' shares the Ichan theory, which he shared yesterday at the World Business Forum, to a room of 750 CEOs. Brilliant and ballsy!
Many college kids seek refuge in their fraternities or clubs (when Icahn tells it, "sorority" is conspicuously omitted) for a friendly face. Without fail, the president of the club, who never seems to open a book, is there to cheer them up. He's a nice and friendly guy, the kind of guy you want around to make you feel better with a beer or a game of pool.
Not surprisingly, that guy goes into business. He's never the smartest guy in the room, but he's likable and he's a survivor. He moves up the corporate ladder, without a single original idea that might make his boss feel threatened by his potential.
Eventually, he gets to be the #2 guy at the company. He's a little dumber than the C.E.O., but the board likes him, so he eventually gets to be C.E.O.
Of course, he assigns a #2 who is a little dumber than he is. "And eventually, we're going to have all morons running our companies," Icahn concluded. "We might not be that far off from that right now."
How Did THIS Guy Get in Charge? [Portfolio]