Carl Icahn 2014 Explains How Carl Icahn 2011 Has Terrible Business Ethics


Carl Icahn 2014: “Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook… are two of the most respected, accomplished and value-driven leaders in Silicon Valley. And I sort of agree. I think they’re respected. I think they’re accomplished. And I agree mostly they’re value-driven leaders. The trouble is they’re value-driver leaders for themselves, not for eBay and not for the shareholders they have a fiduciary obligation to.” (e)

Carl Icahn 2011: “Potential conflicts of interest are by no means rare, though, and seem to be especially frequent among technology and biotech companies.  Each of those fields tends to be intensely technical by nature, and corporations involved in those areas often find that it is useful to have a board of directors with significant experience in those areas, which means that at least minor conflicts of interest often arise. (1)


Carl Icahn 2014: “eBay states the conflicts regarding Mr. Andreessen’s investments are acceptable. Mr. Andreessen has funded… and advises no less than five competitors, four of which directly compete with PayPal – all the while potentially having access to nonpublic information regarding PayPal’s operating performance… We do not consider [Andreessen’s actions] even close to satisfying the ‘world-class’ standards that eBay claims to have established for its board.” (c)

Carl Icahn 2011: “These [technology] firms are frequently funded by venture capital; the venture capital firms invariably put their own directors on the boards; and those directors or their firms often have direct and material conflicts of interest because they usually fund/control potentially competitive corporations as well.” (1)


Carl Icahn 2014: “However, Mr. Andreessen attempted to defend himself, telling the Wall Street Journal that ‘he recuses himself from boardroom discussions that could involve companies his firm is backing.” Seriously? Mr. Andreessen expects eBay stockholders to be comforted by the fact that he self-polices himself? Excuse me if I do not find that nearly sufficient.” (a)

Carl Icahn 2011: “The first, and perhaps most important measure is that the existence of the potential conflict needs to be disclosed by the director to the board.” (1)

Carl Icahn 2011: “The biopharma industry has standard practices on how to deal with potential director conflicts regarding business development opportunities.  Directors simply recuse themselves in the event of a vote or decision that may present a conflict.” (2)


Carl Icahn 2014: “eBay has previously stated that Mr. Cook’s company, Intuit, and PayPal are not competitors. However, to state they are not competitors is absurd…. In our opinion, having Mr. Cook on the board while planning PayPal’s future is akin to having

Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, sitting in when the Denver Broncos were constructing their game plan for the Super Bowl.” (c)

Carl Icahn 2011: “The benefit of drawing upon knowledge and experience from shared, collective service on multiple biopharma boards heavily outweighs the potential conflict in these rare situations which are easily managed through recusal.” (2)

Carl Icahn 2011: “The directors should determine, on a case by case basis, whether they should wall themselves off from conflicted directors when making a decision with respect to a conflicted transaction.” (1)


Carl Icahn 2014: “The point is not whether processes may have been put in place or whether directors may have recused themselves from portions of meetings… The point is that because of the multiple hats they wear and a number of their actions, we believe that eBay directors Andreessen and Cook have clear conflicts which call into question whether they can adequately fulfill the duty of loyalty that every director owes to ALL eBay stockholders.” (b)

Carl Icahn 2011: “A general set of ‘best practices’ has evolved for dealing with [conflicts of interest],” and can “be dealt with by the methods used by thousands of other public and private corporations” and handled “with professionalism and very little fuss and bother…” (1)


Carl Icahn 2014: “And – and they say that – and they go and then they – and they say that Mr. Andreessen, Scott Cook, extraordinary insight, expertise, leadership, which is scrupulous in its governance practices. And eBay’s board – eBay’s board – hey, I don’t even blame Andreessen and Cook… Scrupulous in governance practices and fully transparent with regard to its directors. Hey, if they’re fully transparent, I guess these guys are sort of blind. I just don’t understand how – how people – how – how they get away with it.” (e)

Carl Icahn 2011: “Given the ubiquity of such conflicts, as well as similar situations in which directors or senior management might have conflicting interests, a general set of ‘best practices’ has evolved for dealing with them.” (1)


Carl Icahn 2014: “During Mr. Andreessen’s time on the eBay Board – a time when he has been privy to nonpublic eBay Board information – he has made investments in and actively advised, no less than five direct competitors of eBay… How can Mr. Donahoe and the eBay Board allow Mr. Andreessen to advise these competitors while he simultaneously possesses not only nonpublic eBay Board information but also intimate proprietary information about PayPal’s operations?” (d)

Carl Icahn 2011: “To the extent these potential conflicts of interest actually exist, they are routine matters with which corporate boards of directors normally deal and pose no significant issues.” (1)


Carl Icahn 2014: “Does eBay director Marc Andreessen understand that if he entered into a confidentiality agreement with a third party that prevented him from fully discharging the duties he owed to eBay – that the mere act of entering into such an agreement may have been a breach of duty in and of itself?” (a)

Carl Icahn 2011: “An appropriate conflicts and recusal policy similarly could ameliorate any information-sharing concerns that might theoretically arise from interlocking board members.” (1)

(e) Bloomberg Feb 24 television interview with Carl Icahn

(1) Mr. Icahn and his affiliates filed two opinions of legal counsel as supporting proxy materials in his proxy fight for Forest Laboratories:

Letter from Ashby & Geddes, Counsel to Icahn Capital LP, 8/7/2011

Letter from Arnold & Porter LLP, Antitrust Counsel to Icahn Capital LP, 8/7/2011

(2) Open Letter from the Icahn Group to Forest Laboratories Shareholders, 4/7/ 2011

Important Additional Information

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Information regarding the names of eBay’s directors and executive officers and their respective interests in eBay by security holdings or otherwise is set forth in eBay’s proxy statement for the 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed with the SEC on March 18, 2013.  To the extent holdings of such participants in eBay’s securities have changed since the amounts described in the 2013 proxy statement, such changes have been reflected on Initial Statements of Beneficial Ownership on Form 3 or Statements of Change in Ownership on Form 4 filed with the SEC. Additional information can also be found in eBay’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, filed with the SEC on January 31, 2014.  

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