NEW YORK – Blockbuster Inc. (BBI) shareholders Wednesday vote on whether to retain or oust Chairman and Chief Executive John Antioco (search), bringing to a head a proxy fight by activist investor Carl Icahn (search).
Icahn's slate of three nominees to the Blockbuster board — Edward Bleier, Strauss Zelnick and Icahn himself — is also up for a vote.
The following are key facts on the figures at the center of the Blockbuster shareholder vote.
JOHN ANTIOCO, 55
— Has served as chairman and chief executive of Blockbuster since 1997. He was hired by Viacom chief Sumner Redstone from PepsiCo's former Taco Bell Corp. unit, now a division of Yum Brands Inc.
— In his 35 years as a businessman, he has held numerous executive positions spanning the retail and entertainment industries. He holds a degree in business administration from the New York Institute of Technology.
CARL ICAHN, 69,
— Has served as chairman and a director of Starfire and chairman and a director of various subsidiaries of Starfire since 1984. Since 1994 he has been the majority shareholder, chairman and a director of American Railcar Industries Inc., a Missouri corporation.
— He also has been chairman and president of Icahn & Co. Inc., a registered broker-dealer and a member of the NASD, since 1968.
— Since November 1990, he has been chairman of American Property Investors Inc., the general partner of American Real Estate Partners L.P., which invests in real estate and holds various other interests, including in units engaged in, among other things, the oil and gas business and casino entertainment
— Has been a director of Cadus Pharmaceutical Corp. , which holds various biotechnology patents, since 1993. From August 1998 to August 2002, he served as chairman of Maupintour Holding LLC, formerly known as Lowestfare.com LLC, an Internet travel reservations firm.
— From October 1998 through May 2004, he was president and director of Stratosphere Corp., which operates the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino. Since Sept. 29, 2000, he has served as chairman of GB Holdings Inc., which owns all outstanding stock of Atlantic Coast Entertainment Holdings Inc.
— In January 2003, he became chairman of and director of XO Communications Inc., a telecoms company. He received his B.A. from Princeton University.
EDWARD BLEIER, 75
— Retired in January 2004 from Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. after 34 years. He had been president of the division responsible for American marketing of movies, animation and TV programs to networks, pay TV, cable and satellite and video-on-demand.
— Previously, he was senior executive of ABC TV in charge of marketing, daytime and children's programming, sales and planning. He is a director of Real Networks Inc. and a director of CKX Inc., a newly formed aggregator of entertainment companies e.g., Elvis Presley Enterprises, and "American Idol."
— He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and a Trustee of the Charles A. Dana Foundation and the Martha Graham Dance Co. He is chairman emeritus of the Center for Communication and Guild Hall's Academy of the Arts. In 2003, he published a New York Times bestseller, "The Thanksgiving Ceremony." He has a B.S. degree from Syracuse University.
STRAUSS ZELNICK, 47
— Founder of Zelnick Media LLC, an investment and advisory firm specializing in media and entertainment. From 1998 to 2000 he was president and CEO of BMG Entertainment, at that time a $4.7 billion music and entertainment unit of Bertelsmann A.G. . At BMG, he managed one of the world's largest music and entertainment companies, one of the top music publishing companies and the world's largest record club.
— Before joining BMG, he was president and CEO of Crystal Dynamics, a producer and distributor of interactive entertainment software. Before joining Crystal Dynamics, he was president and CEO of 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp. engaged in the production and distribution of feature films and television programming.
— He is a director of Carver Bancorp Inc., a bank holding company. He was recently appointed, subject to approval by shareholders, to the boards of Reed Elsevier Plc, Reed Elsevier N.V. and Reed Elsevier Group Plc, a provider of global information-driven securities and solutions. He has a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an MBA and JD from Harvard University.