Icahn Rips eBay Board a New One in Latest Letter
Carl Icahn has issued a scathing letter to eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) shareholders about the “lapses in corporate governance” of eBay’s board and the poor performance of CEO John Donahoe. Last month it was revealed in a filing the Icahn had taken a 0.8 percent economic interest in eBay, and since then, the activist investor has called for the company to spin off its PayPal payments business.
The letter specifically accuses Donahoe and board members Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook of maintaining conflicts of interest that have cost eBay shareholders billions. Icahn says that several members of the board are involved in businesses that directly compete with eBay and have consistently placed their own financial gains above the interests of the company’s shareholders.
“We have found ourselves in many troubling situations over the years, but the complete disregard for accountability at eBay is the most blatant we have ever seen. Indeed, for the first time in our long history, we have encountered a situation where we believe we should not even have to run a proxy fight to change the board composition. Rather, we believe that in any sane business environment these directors would simply resign immediately from the eBay Board, either out of pure decency or sheer embarrassment at the public exposure of the extent of their self-serving activities,” Icahn says in the letter.
Icahn goes on to accuse Donahoe of maintaining a corrupt corporate culture. Icahn said that Donahoe “seems to be completely asleep or, even worse, either naive or willfully blind to these grave lapses of accountability.”