from the won't-someone-think-of-the-shareholders dept.
"Corporate raider Carl Icahn has turned his attention to eBay, announcing a proxy fight for board seats via open letters to shareholders. Icahn thinks the company should spin off its PayPal division and distribute the proceeds to the shareholders. The current board thinks differently, but Icahn says that's partly because of massive conflicts of interest held by board members (Netscape founder, now venture capitalist) Marc Andreessen and (Intuit CEO) Scott Cook. For Exhibit A and B, Icahn mentions the large profits Andressen Horowitz made from eBay's earlier spinoff of Skype, and its subsequent sale to Microsoft; and the fact that Intuit and PayPal are competitors in the payment processing space.
Andreessen has been posting responses on his blog. The latest references Icahn's three year proxy campaign for control of pharmaceutical company Forest Labs, that ended several weeks ago with Forest's sale to a company called Actavis. Forest's directors cried foul in 2011 over one of Icahn's nominees to the board, claiming Eric Ende had an unusual compensation clause allowing him to share directly in Icahn's profits on the Forest deal achieved within 30 months, i.e. in the short term."