eBay CEO Implores Employees To Ignore Icahn’s ‘Noise’

Mar 17 2014 | 3:51am ET

Online marketplace eBay Inc.’s CEO is asking his employees to close their ears as he girds for battle with Carl Icahn.

The billionaire investor has called on eBay to spin-off its PayPal unit—and has blasted CEO John Donahoe and its board for its 2009 sale of Skype, accusing two of its prominent directors of conflicts of interest. Icahn has launched a proxy contest to win a pair of board seats. Donahoe and Icahn have exchanged unpleasantries on a near-daily basis for the past several weeks—and Donahoe is warning employees that things are likely to get worse.

“The noise is going to get louder over the next four to six to eight weeks,” Donahue told employees. “Don’t pay attention to the noise. Stay focused, and don’t be distracted.”

“The thing to keep in mind is that we have more insight around our own company that anyone on the outside can,” he added. “It’s easy to say when you’re sitting on the outside, ‘Oh, simplistically separate, and we’ll do some short-term financial maneuvering to drive the share price up.’”


In Depth

Electronifie: Better Bond Trading

May 11 2016 | 3:03pm ET

Technology has revolutionized countless aspects of investing and trading, but the...

Lifestyle

From Modern Trader: Stephen Curry is a Black Swan

May 18 2016 | 7:43pm ET

What do the rise of the Internet, the sinking of the Titanic, 9/11, and Stephen...

Guest Contributor

LendingClub and the Question of Internal Hedge Funds

May 19 2016 | 8:42pm ET

Peer-to-peer lending platform LendingClub Corp. has been in the news since the firm...