Icahn: eBay Brass Should Resign Out of 'Pure Decency'

Investor accuses board of improprieties

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 24, 2014 1:52 PM CST

(Newser) – EBay's board is so rife with conflicts of interest that Carl Icahn penned a scathing open letter today, escalating his campaign to force the online auctioneer to spin off PayPal. Icahn bought a 2% stake in eBay last month, and had been preparing to fight for two board seats, the Wall Street Journal reports. But after doing his research, he believes that he shouldn't have to fight, because "in any sane business environment, these directors would simply resign … either out of pure decency or sheer embarrassment."

Icahn singles out Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook as having business interests in eBay's competitors and taking actions detrimental to the company, and accuses CEO John Donahoe of enabling them. "The complete disregard for accountability at eBay is the most blatant we have ever seen," he writes. EBay responded to the attack by saying that Icahn had "cherry-picked old news clips" to unfairly attack "two impeccably qualified directors." Icahn's letter also notes that former PayPal architects Elon Musk and David Sacks agreed that it should split from eBay. "It's as if Target owned Visa or something," Musk recently told Forbes.

This Tuesday, July 16, 2013 photo shows an eBay sign at eBay headquarters in San Jose, Calif.
This Tuesday, July 16, 2013 photo shows an eBay sign at eBay headquarters in San Jose, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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