Carl Icahn wants former Illumina CEO Jay Flatley back at the San Diego genetic sequencing firm, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, as the activist investor intensified his proxy fight that was launched earlier this month.
In an interview with the newspaper, Icahn signaled that Illumina “should bring Flatley back as CEO immediately.” The billionaire who is often described as a “corporate raider” did not disclose if he was in touch with Flatley, according to the report.
Icahn, who owns 1.4% of Illumina, is pushing for the company to unwind its buyout of cancer detection test maker Grail and is seeking three board seats after weeks of private discussions failed to yield results.
Icahn and Illumina did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Icahn’s campaign at Illumina could become the year’s most high-profile proxy contest after Nelson Peltz ended his quest for a seat at Disney and Daniel Loeb reached an agreement with Bath & Body Works.