Shareholder Icahn: "Conflict of interest in eBay board"

Shareholder Icahn: "Conflict of interest in eBay board"

Investor Carl Icahn has demanded two members of the board of eBay to resign, as he questions their loyalty towards the company and believes there is a conflict of interest within the board.

Interests in competing businesses

Icahn, who controls 2.15 % of eBay’s shares, wrote a letter to the other shareholders in which he stated that two members of the board of directors, Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook, had interests in eBay competitors, posing that as a reason for their resignation.

 

Andreessen alledgedly has invested in (and advises for) Boku, Coinbase, Dwolla, Jurnio and Fab, five companies Icahn believes to be direct eBay competitors while four of them also compete with PayPal, a part of the eBay group.

 

"Afraid of a standalone Paypal"

He also questioned the selling of Skype to a group of investors, to which Andreessen belongs, for 70 % less than what eBay paid for it – especially as Skype was subsequently sold to Microsoft for a 4 billion dollars (2.9 billion euro) profit only 1.5 years later.

 

Cook’s conflicting interests are supposed to be because of his ties to Intuit, which has GoPayment as a director competitor to Paypal: according to Icahn, this is the exact reason Cook is stopping PayPal’s spinoff out of fears it would impact Intuit. “Is Mr Cook wary of how a standalone PayPal could impact the company he founded? Is he worried that it would diminish the value of his $1 billion in Intuit stock”, Icahn wondered.

 

PayPall will not be split off

EBay is not amused by Icahn’s statements, especially the fact that he attacks two exquisite members of the board with his letter. They retort that Andreessen had no part in the decision to sell Skype. Both he and Cook were not available for comments.

 

Icahn wants PayPal to be split off from eBay, something the higher echelons of eBay management had also considered for a while, before the decision was made to keep PayPal as an important part of eBay. The company believes synergy would be lost if both companies were split up.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Safe.Shop is new global eCommerce trust mark

16/10/2017

Safe.Shop is the world’s first global eCommerce trust mark. Currently, only twelve countries signed up, but that number should increase in the future.

Fashion platform About You launches in the Netherlands and Belgium

11/10/2017

German fashion web shop About You, the second largest online European fashion retailer, officially launched in Belgium and the Netherlands following an unofficial launch in the Netherlands some time ago.

Alibaba invests billions in physical retail

28/08/2017

Over the past two years, Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba has spent nearly seven billion euro in physical retail. Its Hema Xiansheng chain already has thirteen supermarkets and it acquired luxury department store Intime from the government in January.

Alibaba exceeds expectations

17/08/2017

Chinese Alibaba has trumped analysts’ turnover and profit expectations with its first quarter results. Its profit even doubled compared to the year before.

Aldi will home deliver in the United States

16/08/2017

German discounter Aldi is starting one-hour deliveries for online orders in the United States, using startup Instacart. Amazon’s reaction was swift: it will test lockers in which custumers can collect items two minutes after ordering them.

Yoox-Net-a-Porter thrives thanks to mobile surge

03/08/2017

Online retailer Yoox-Net-a-Porter has managed to beat analysts’ expectations in the past fiscal year, thanks to a surge in mobile sales. For the first time ever, these sales contributed more than half of the retailer’s total turnover.

Back to top