EBay rejects Icahn board nominees, asks investors to do same

Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:38am IST

A placard advertising an eBay app for Apple is shown in San Francisco, California, April 22, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files

A placard advertising an eBay app for Apple is shown in San Francisco, California, April 22, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

(Reuters) - EBay Inc (EBAY.O) on Monday rejected activist investor Carl Icahn's two nominees to its board, saying both were unqualified, and urged shareholders to vote against them at its next annual meeting.

Icahn, who owns just over 2 percent of the e-commerce company, has been pressuring eBay for weeks to spin off its PayPal payments business. He has also repeatedly accused eBay of poor corporate governance.

The billionaire nominated Icahn Enterprises LP (IEP.O) employees Daniel Ninivaggi and Jonathan Christodoro, both of whom Icahn regularly nominates to boards.

The chairman of eBay's corporate governance and nominating committee, Richard Schlosberg III, said the board considered both but rejected them because "neither nominee has relevant experience or expertise."

EBay said since each Icahn nominee currently sits on four public company boards, they are not in compliance with eBay's guidelines on "overboarding."

EBay founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar in a statement urged shareholders to support the company's slate, which includes Chief Executive John Donahoe.

The company also said Donahoe's 2013 compensation fell by more than half to $13.8 million. That largely reflects the board's decision in 2012 to give him a one-time award of $14.8 million in performance share units, although eBay's weaker-than-expected financial performance also hurt his pay.

The company did not in its preliminary proxy statement set the date for its next annual shareholders meeting, which is expected to take place in the spring.

Icahn has sparred with eBay management via open letters and press releases since January, when the pugnacious billionaire made an unsolicited proposal for eBay to hive off PayPal.

The company has repeatedly said PayPal and eBay are better off as part of the same company.

In a fresh missive on Monday, Icahn accused Donahoe of "inexcusable incompetence" and said the fast-growing PayPal could "wither" if it remains part of eBay.

"PayPal may well go the way of other former technology greats such as Blackberry, Dell, Eastman Kodak, Polaroid, Nintendo, Xerox, Sony, Palm, and AOL," Icahn said.

EBay called Icahn's comments "false and misleading."

"In pursuit of his own profit motives, Carl Icahn has made another unsubstantiated attack on John," eBay said.

EBay shares fell 1.4 percent to $58.22 on the Nasdaq.

(Additional reporting by Deepa Seetharaman in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Chang) nL2N0M7100

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

SURVEILLANCE

TECH SHOWCASE

Anti-trust Probe

Anti-trust Probe

Microsoft targeted in apparent Chinese anti-trust probe  Full Article 

Banking on PlayStation

Banking on PlayStation

With PlayStation network, Sony goes back to the future in search of revival  Full Article 

Wearable Gadgets

Wearable Gadgets

Swatch plans fitness-based touch wristwatch, CEO tells paper.  Full Article 

Xbox Marketing

Xbox Marketing

JD.com to sell Microsoft's Xbox One games console in China.  Full Article 

Testing Times

Testing Times

Analysis - Amazon's far-reaching ambitions, lack of profits, unnerve investors.  Full Article 

IPO Probe Over

IPO Probe Over

Facebook says SEC's IPO probe ends, extending WhatsApp closing date  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage