Icahn Assails eBay, Top Directors

Feb 25 2014 | 12:04pm ET

The battle between Carl Icahn and eBay Inc. has turned nasty, with the veteran investor attacking the online marketplace's leadership and eBay accusing him of "mudslinging."

Icahn last month called on eBay to give him two representatives on its board and to spin-off its PayPal unit. eBay has rejected the proposal.

Yesterday, Icahn ratcheted up his attack, lambasting CEO John Donahoe and two of eBay's best-known directors, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Intuit Inc. founder Scott Cook. Icahn accused Andreessen and Cook of having conflicts of interest due to relationships with companies competing with eBay.

"How is it possible for the current board to engage in any meaningful discussions about long-term stockholder value while: (1) at least two board members are directly competing with eBay, (2) one board member is demanding eBay cease hiring the most talented employees, (3) another board member is routinely funding competitors while buying companies from eBay and reaping significant personal riches, (4) at least two board members appear to have put their own financial gain in ongoing conflict with their fiduciary responsibilities to stockholders and (5) the C.E.O. seems to be completely asleep or, even worse, either naive or willfully blind to these grave lapses of accountability and stockholder value destruction?" Icahn wrote on his Shareholders' Square Table website.

eBay shot back that Icahn was attacking "two impeccably qualified directors" with "cherry-picked old news clips and anecdotes out of context."

Icahn owns 2.15% of eBay's shares.

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