Billionaire investor and a major Cheniere Energy shareholder, Carl Icahn confirmed he was the reason and the driving force behind the ousting of Cheniere’s former CEO Charif Souki.
Souki, the co-founder of the company, was replaced in December 2015 by the interim CEO Neal Shear, just months before Cheniere shipped the long-awaited first cargo from its Sabine Pass liquefaction and export facility in Louisiana.
Icahn told CNBC in an interview on Thursday he was “very instrumental in getting Souki out“, taking full responsibility for the action.
He called Souki’s ideas including buying oil companies, as “harebrained” naming them as the main reason for getting the board to replace Souki.
Icahn’s comments come as a response to Charif Souki’s earlier interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer.
Souki said the decision was due to the difference in opinion and misconceptions between himself and Icahn adding that the parting of ways was amicable.
According to Icahn, he had never met Souki and had only spoken to him “once or twice by phone“.
Souki was “taking $80 million out, and any stock he could sell he sold,” Icahn said in the interview. “So here he is doing this, going in with one idea after another… I looked at this and said, ‘This is insane. This is the problem. This is keeping it (Cheniere) away from being a great company.’”
Souki, who stayed on Cheniere’s board until February, after serving 19 years at the company, reduced his stake in the company by a third in 2015. On the other hand, Icahn’s stake in the company rose to almost 14 percent.
LNG World News Staff