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Carl Icahn, Marc Andreessen Find Common Ground

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Uncle Carl thinks that the Netscape founder thinks he’s stupid or lying, re: all of Andreessen’s conflicts of interest as an eBay board member. Marc Andreessen is happy to confirm as much, and to raise him one “hypocrite.”

In my opinion, Mr. Andreessen’s conflicts are clear and insurmountable. 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 – especially in light of the Skype fiasco.

False and misleading accusations have been made against eBay and against me in my role as an eBay director….

Throughout the eBay board’s process of divesting Skype, I fully disclosed my potential interest and recused myself from all deliberations on the transaction, including all discussions, negotiations, and decisions. I was uninvolved in eBay’s decision to spin off Skype and in eBay’s decision to choose to partner with the Silver Lake syndicate....

I do not serve on the board of any company with any significant competitive overlap with eBay....

Some people have also floated a theory that venture capitalists are more prone to potential conflicts than other kinds of directors due to their investments in multiple companies at once. I also don’t think that’s true. For example, activist hedge fund managers also tend to hold equity stakes in many companies at the same time, creating the exact same kind of potential conflict.

Open Letter to eBay Shareholders [Shareholders’ Square Table]
My Statement on eBay Director Role and Governance [Marc Andreessen blog]