eBay's early backer to leave board of directors

Early Robert Kagle investment multiplied many times over during the dot-com era and was worth upward of $5 billion at its peak. (From Reuters)

eBay said Thursday that early venture capital backer and longtime board member Robert Kagle plans to step down as a director of the company at its next annual shareholder meeting.

Kagle made one of his earliest investments in eBay of between $5 million and $7 million as a partner with Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark Capital.

The value of this investment multiplied many times over during the dot-com era and was worth upward of $5 billion at its peak. It is believed to be one of the most lucrative VC investments ever made, according to reports at the time.

He notified the company on Tuesday that he would not go up for reelection at the stockholders meeting in June, but will continue to serve as a director until the meeting.

The company said in a U.S. regulatory filing that Kagle was leaving solely for personal reasons and time considerations and his departure did not involve any disagreement with the company, the company's management, or the board of directors.

He sits on the board of a variety of Silicon Valley start-ups, including Mint.com and Prosper. Kagle did not immediately reply to an e-mail requesting comment.

In addition, eBay named Phillip DePaul as a vice president and its chief accounting officer, effective April 14.

DePaul previously worked at OfficeMax, where he was senior vice president, controller, and chief accounting officer since 2003. He also was employed in the audit practice of Ernst & Young from 1993 to 1998.

DePaul will receive an annual salary of $350,000 and be given the option of buying 49,000 shares of eBay common stock and 24,500 restricted stock units.

He will also receive one-time bonuses totaling $135,000, and be eligible for relocation assistance and expenses for moving from Chicago to Silicon Valley.

Story Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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