Carl Icahn and Knowing When to Leave

The legendary activist investor, Carl Icahn, announced that he is leaving the Board of Yahoo! - a company that many argue his actions saved from complete demise.

You may recall the wars of the recent past when Microsoft put in a $47B bid for the whole of Yahoo! and Jerry Yang, its founder and then CEO, said no.  That's when Icahn really got going.  And that's what led to Yang stepping down, Carol Bartz coming in as Chief Executive and a search deal between Microsoft and Yahoo! finally being successfully arranged.

Now it's time for Icahn to leave.  He doesn't need to keep his seat on the Board (although there's no news about his removing his money from the company).  He did what he needed to do, has ensured that the company - and his investment - is in good hands, both in its management and Board membership, and that it has a long-term strategic pathway for ongoing success being actively executed.

Icahn is known for getting in and making waves.  What can also be learned from him is how and when to leave - especially when it is, to a great extent, you who created the success.