Icahn’s plan to break up Ebay falters as board seats blocked

Oliver Smith
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EBAY has rejected proposals by activist investor Carl Icahn to appoint two of his employees to the online auction giant’s board, arguing that neither of Icahn’s nominees had enough experience.

Icahn currently holds a two per cent stake in Ebay and has been pressing the board to accept his nominees and spin off its valuable, fast-growing PayPal division.

Independent director Richard Schlosberg, who chairs the corporate governance and nominating committee, said he “gave serious consideration to the two employees of Carl Icahn that he nominated to the board.”

“After careful review, the board concluded that they are not qualified candidates based on the criteria that have consistently been applied by the committee, including in particular that neither nominee has relevant experience or expertise,” added Schlosberg.

The board also said that Icahn’s nominees would not comply with its rules on overboarding – that a director can not sit on too many boards. Both of Icahn’s employees sit on four public company boards.