Navistar fires back after Icahn criticizes CEO switch

WARRENVILLE, Ill., Mon Sep 10, 2012 – Navistar International Corp. defended itself on Monday against activist investor Carl Icahn, who had said the U.S. truck and engine maker’s August hiring of a new chief executive officer was ill-advised.

The company, whose shares fell nearly 3 percent, accused Icahn of engaging in “threats, attacks and disruptions” after he made his criticisms public on Sunday.

Icahn, Navistar’s third-largest shareholder, said the truckmaker had not discussed the CEO switch with his firm, and he called the hiring of former Textron Inc. CEO Lewis Campbell a “worse-than ill-advised move.”

The company, which makes International-brand heavy trucks as well as school buses and recreational vehicles, dismissed Icahn’s complaint.

“Navistar maintains an ongoing dialogue with its shareholders and appreciates their input and views,” the company said. “After a year of dialogue, we are extremely disappointed that Mr. Icahn has chosen to pursue his unproductive tactics of threats, attacks, and disruption.”