The Wall Street Journal: Xerox CEO negotiated Fijifilm deal despite board’s order to stop, lawsuit claims

Xerox Corp.’s board told Chief Executive Jeff Jacobson in November to stop negotiations with Fujifilm Holdings Corp. because it was considering firing him, a newly amended lawsuit alleges.

Instead, the suit says, the executive raced to strike a complex deal that would leave him in charge, and cede control of the American icon to the Japanese company, a move that has been criticized by two of Xerox’s biggest investors.

Though Xerox’s XRX, -0.21%   board ultimately stuck with Jacobson after his performance improved and signed off on the deal he negotiated, communications disclosed Sunday in a lawsuit filed by billionaire investor Darwin Deason allege the CEO negotiated to sell the company — and keep his own job — while pushing the acquirer to help him avoid being ousted under pressure by Carl Icahn, his biggest investor.

Xerox’s chairman, Robert Keegan said Sunday Jacobson was “fully authorized to engage in discussions with Fujifilm 4901, +0.00%  .”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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