Investor Carl Icahn said he had dinner with Apple chief Tim Cook and "pushed hard" for the tech company to give a $150 billion stock buyback, according to reports.
Icahn, who owns a $1 billion stake in the company and is known as an activist investor, pressured Cook even after Cook already promised $100 billion in dividends and buybacks earlier this year, according to Bloomberg News. Icahn also shared that the talks will continue in three weeks, according to his Twitter account.
Icahn has made a name for himself lobbying companies to change business tactics to boost share price and profits. Apple, with its dragon's hoard of $146.6 billion in cash and investments, is an attractive target.
Under the late Steve Jobs, buybacks and dividends didn't happen at Apple, but Cook has been more willing to give investors what they want, including buybacks and dividends. Icahn said he believes that Apple stock can rise to $625 a share if it does a buyback. He also wants Apple to borrow $150 billion to buy the stock and escape taxes.
While Icahn has a lot of influence, it doesn't necessarily mean his advice is the best way to govern a business. Icahn's interest is in raising the stock price, which doesn't necessarily mean making the company or its products better. However, this event should give Apple consumers and the general public a good idea of what being a public company is about -- being at the mercy of powerful investors who want to manipulate how the business is run simply for short-term gain.
Published at 12:13 PM PST on Oct 1, 2013