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

Smartphone Wars

Reuters Showcase

Cloud Solutions

Cloud Solutions

Tencent teams up with IBM to offer business software over the cloud.  Full Article 

Cook Comes Out

Cook Comes Out

Apple's Cook: "I'm proud to be gay".  Full Article | Related Story 

 Rubin Quits

Rubin Quits

Android co-founder Andy Rubin to leave Google.  Full Article 

Glowing Flower

Glowing Flower

Video: Genetically altered glowing flower on display in Tokyo.  Video 

Web Fast Lanes

Web Fast Lanes

Comcast, AT&T seek to reassure on no plans for Internet 'fast lanes'.  Full Article 

Tech Reshuffle

Tech Reshuffle

Twitter product chief sidelined as user engagement slides.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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