Icahn blasts eBay's CEO, board in letter; shares gain

|About: eBay Inc. (EBAY)|By:, SA News Editor

Carl Icahn pulls no punches in a letter to eBay (EBAY +3%) shareholders that blasts the perceived conflicts of interests of board members Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook, and declares CEO John Donahoe appears to be "completely asleep or, even worse, either naive or willfully blind."

Icahn, still calling for a PayPal split, notes Andreessen's VC firm was part of an investor group that "bought 70% of Skype for less than what eBay had paid to acquire it," and that it would later be sold to Microsoft for ~3x eBay's sale price.

He also claims Andreessen has made investments in at least five eBay competitors, four of which are PayPal rivals, while on eBay's board.

Icahn observes director Scott Cook is the former CEO of Intuit (INTU - a mobile payments rival to PayPal), and remains on Intuit's board. He also claims a "pending DOJ complaint" exists regarding a no-hire pact between eBay and Intuit.

eBay has responded to Icahn's letter. The company: 1) Defends the Skype sale, and says Andreessen was "recused from all decision making" related to the deal. 2) Says Andreessen isn't up for re-election to the board. 3) Calls Cook "an enormous asset" to eBay's board, and insists the product overlap between eBay and Intuit is small.

Icahn has nominated two directors to eBay's board.