Carl Icahn Names Former GE Executive as New Icahn Enterprises CEO

The firm's move to Florida has resulted in leadership changes

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Sydnee Gatewood
Apr 05, 2021
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Billionaire investor

Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio) revealed that former General Electric Co. (GE, Financial) executive Aris Kekedjian was chosen to take charge of his namesake investment firm, Icahn Enterprises LP (IEP, Financial).

As a result of its relocation from New York to Florida, CEO Keith Cozza and Chief Financial Officer SungHwan Cho are departing the firm in the coming months. A new CFO will also be chosen in the future.

Kekedjian, who was the chief investment officer at GE until 2019, started his new role on Monday according to the Wall Street Journal. During his three-decade career with GE, he gained extensive experience in building and operating international platforms across Europe and the Middle East and had a hand in several major mergers and acquisitions. These included the $30 billion merger of GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes, the $15 billion merger of GE Transportation with Wabtec, the breakup of GE Capital and the spinoff and initial public offering of Synchrony Financial (

SYF, Financial).

In a statement, Icahn, who is a renowned activist investor and the chairman of Icahn Enterprises' board, welcomed Kekedjian to the firm.

"His vast global experience and proven track record will complement our already strong team," hesaid. "I'd also like to thank Keith and Sung for their significant contributions to the incredible success enjoyed by Icahn Enterprises and our unitholders during their long tenure. I don't believe we could have had the success we did without Keith and Sung. I wish them both good luck in their future endeavors."

Kekedjian also expressed his eagerness for joining the firm, which has an "incredible reputation, achievements and performance history" that "speak for themselves."

"I am humbled to be joining such a storied franchise and look forward to helping to further the mission of delivering superior returns," he said.

The firm, which manages a $20.06 billion equity portfolio, is largely invested in the industrials sector with a 61.96% weight. Energy and consumer defensive stocks have much lower representations at 18.69% and 9.54%.

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As of the end of fourth-quarter 2020, Icahn's five largest holdings were Icahn Enterprises, Occidental Petroleum Corp. (

OXY, Financial), CVR Energy Inc. (CVI, Financial), Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. (HLF, Financial) and Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG, Financial).

For the first quarter, the firm also announced it is expecting an estimated $800 million increase in its indicative net asset value, which was driven by a boost in the investment segment.

"At the beginning of the year, we significantly reduced our short positions in index funds and the market in general. However, we have kept 'short hedge positions' in place on companies operating in the same industries as the companies comprising our larger activist positions," Icahn said. "We continue to believe that the activist model that has produced exceptional returns for us over the past 45 years now offers even greater opportunities than it did in the past."

Disclosure: No positions.

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I am the editorial director at GuruFocus. I have a BA in journalism and a MA in mass communications from Texas Tech University. I have lived in Texas most of my life, but also have roots in New Mexico and Colorado. Follow me on Twitter! @gurusydneerg