eBay and Icahn settle proxy fight

eBay and Icahn settle proxy fight

Summary: Icahn is withdrawing both his proposal to separate the company's PayPal business and his two nominees to the company's Board of Directors.

TOPICS: E-Commerce, CXO

The contentious squabble between eBay and billionaire investor Carl Icahn has finally cooled as both parties reached an agreement to end their proxy contest for the company's upcoming annual meeting of stockholders.

Icahn is withdrawing both his proposal to split the company's PayPal business and his two nominees to eBay's Board of Directors. eBay did however agree to appoint business executive and founding partner of Centerview Captial Technology David Dorman as an independent director to the board, as per Icahn's suggestion.

eBay CEO John Donahoe was expectedly pleased with the agreement, noting in a statement that the deal allows the company to shift full focus on "a goal every shareholder agrees on — growing PayPal and eBay."

He continued: 

As a result of our conversations, it became clear that Carl and I strongly agree on the potential of PayPal and our company. I respect Carl's willingness to work together to drive sustainable shareholder value today and into the future. His record shows that he has done this with many other companies in the past.

Icahn himself seemed satisfied wtih the deal:

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 8.49.33 AM

But the PayPal battle could be far from over, as Icahn stated that he still stands by his position that PayPal and eBay should separate:

I continue to believe that eBay would benefit from the separation of PayPal at some point in the near future and intend to continue to press my case through confidential discussions with the company. While John has made no commitments regarding such a separation, he and I have agreed to meet regularly when he is in New York to discuss strategic alternatives. 

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Topics: E-Commerce, CXO

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  • Tail Wagging the Dog? Again?

    Worrying that one man can cause so much trouble to so many companies, with such small stakes.

    He's showing the way for future troll shareholders.
  • Rich 1%

    As only we can dream....

    Both companies should be stripped of anything since they both GOUGED the consumers for years with over-priced fees for lack of better term, squirrely service. An example, I just sold a mid-level audio interface on ebay. Sold for around $150. My monthly fees are around $40 just for that one transaction. And just try to complain... deaf ears, or gadget kiddies with script instructions to give you the run around to frustrate you... to give up! Can't sue locally since they have a herd of attornies and a novel of terms that no normal person could read or understand...

    I HATE the rich 1%
    • You can go elsewhere

      I don't know of any online auction sites other than eBay, but there might be some. Or you could sell the item yourself.

      There are really only three things that scare most for-profit corporations:
      1. Loss of sales.
      2. Lawsuits.
      3. Criminal prosecution.

      I suspect eBay's lawyers do a good job of minimizing the likelihood of the second two items (but if you think they broke the law, you know who to talk to), so you're probably left with the first. If corporations abuse their customers, it's almost always because they think that their customers need them more than they need their customers. It's therefore up to customers to stand up for their own rights, first by complaining, then if nothing can be resolved that way, by voting with one's dollars, even if it's inconvenient and telling people why you're doing so, so they can make informed decisions.

      I've never done business with eBay, so I have no idea whether or not your complaints are valid, but the above is general principle.
      John L. Ries
      • Forgot about number 4

        Hostile takeovers, which is why eBay decided to negotiate with Mr. Icahn.
        John L. Ries