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


Amazon Echo is now available in the Benelux

11/12/2017

Amazon announced it will ship its smart speaker Amazon Echo to another 28 countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands. Its own music streaming service will also get a local launch.

Luxury manufacturers can block retailers from selling on Amazon

07/12/2017

Luxury product manufactures can block retailers from selling their merchandise on online marketplaces like Amazon. The European Court of Justice has ruled on the matter after cosmetics manufacturer Coty filed a complaint.

Surge in mobile sales during Thanksgiving weekend

29/11/2017

During Thanksgiving weekend in the United States, which contains Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there was a big surge in mobile sales. Those two days saw a total sales figure of almost twelve billion dollar (just shy of ten billion euro).

Alibaba reveals its high-tech store of the future

24/11/2017

Amazon Go’s automated supermarkets have not yet arrived, but Alibaba already has its answers ready. The Chinese online retailer has showcased Tmall Supermart, filled with technology: from virtual fitting rooms to facial recognition.

Rakuten bridges gap to Japanese online consumer

30/10/2017

In Alibaba and Amazon’s shadow, Japanese Rakuten Ichiba is quickly developing. Several Western chains are using the platform to sell their products to Japanese online consumers.

Whole Foods contributes to Amazon's enormous turnover increase

27/10/2017

American Amazon’s third quarter turnover grew a lot once more, partially thanks to Whole Foods. This was the first time the chain’s turnover was added to Amazon’s overall turnover.

Back to top