Billionaire financier Carl Icahn said he no longer has to watch "Saturday Night Live" if he wants a good laugh — he just has to go to a company board meeting.
"Sooner or later, we're all going to be run by morons," he said to applause during his commencement address at Drexel University on Saturday.
The speech at the private Philadelphia college was a rare public address for Icahn, an investor-activist who has been the thorn in many a CEO's side. Though lambasted by critics as a corporate raider, Icahn has also won praise for fighting for shareholders' interests in a climate that has turned more critical of corporate management.
Icahn, 72, is currently threatening a proxy battle to replace the board at Yahoo Inc., of which he owns 4.3 percent. Icahn had criticized Yahoo for turning down a $47.5 billion takeover offer from Microsoft this year.
On Saturday, Icahn received an honorary degree from Drexel's LeBow College of Business. Icahn is an old friend of namesake Bennett LeBow, who also attended the ceremony.
In keeping with his rhetoric over the years, Icahn's message to Drexel students contained no small amount of reverence for himself — though cloaked in some joking self-deprecation -- and disdain for corporate America.
Graduate Daniel Hirsch, 22, called Icahn's speech insightful but observed a mixed reaction from his classmates.
"He's not afraid to express his opinion," said Hirsch. "He certainly knows how successful he is."
And as for Yahoo, Icahn said in a brief interview that "we're going to continue to be involved. That's for sure."
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