Pershing Square Capital Management's Bill Ackman said Sharpie pen maker Newell Brands made a kind of "deal with the devil" in appointing Carl Icahn's board picks in March.
"The company was so afraid of losing a proxy contest that they made a deal with the devil, so to speak," Ackman said Tuesday, quickly clarifying that he "meant that in the most positive way."
"What Carl's doing here is he's basically been given control of Newell," Ackman added. "He's got five seats on the board or something like that: his son, a whole bunch of affiliates, not the kind of board I think this audience would elect for its independence necessarily."
News of Icahn's board appointments at Newell last month came just days after he disclosed a 6.86 percent stake in the company and said he could seek a board seat at the consumer products company. His designated directors are Patrick Campbell, Brett Icahn, Andrew Langham and Courtney Mather.