UPDATE 1-Xerox 'desperately' needs new leadership, Icahn says

(Adds quote from Icahn letter, background)

Dec 12 (Reuters) - Activist investor Carl Icahn said on Tuesday Xerox Corp "desperately" needed new leadership, arguing that the printer manufacturer was slow to launch new products and grow revenue.

Icahn's remarks, in an open letter to Xerox shareholders, come a day after he named four nominees to the company's board of directors.

The nominations followed the resignation of Jonathan Christodoro, whom Icahn placed on Xerox's board last June. Christodoro had a difference of opinion with the board.

On Monday, Xerox backed its yearly earnings forecast and highlighted the 30 percent increase in its stock price this year as a sign of investor confidence.

"To be clear, the primary reason Xerox stock is up 30 percent year-to-date is the Conduent spin-off that I spent over a year fighting for," Icahn said in the letter. http://bit.ly/2APy8a5

Xerox split itself in two last year, spinning off its business process outsourcing unit into Conduent Inc. (Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)