Activist investor Carl Icahn has spent almost 30 years buying stocks of various companies and influencing change. The latest company in his sights is the online auction site eBay calling it the worst run company he has ever seen. His reasoning for this claim and his plans for the company are not altogether clear. One part that he has made clear though is that he feels Paypal, that eBay acquired in 2003, should be spun off into an independent company.
“We are looking forward to the upcoming annual meeting, where stockholders will have an opportunity to vote on our precatory proposal and send a message to the board that PayPal should be separated from eBay NOW,” Carl Icahn wrote in a letter he sent to eBay shareholders. He later added, “Stockholders will also at that time have the power to vote out of office two members of eBay's board of directors and replace them with our nominees, who we believe will be focused more on enhancing value for ALL eBay stockholders than on leveraging their relationships with eBay to benefit their outside personal investments. “
The battle between eBay and Mr. Icahn began shortly after the new years as reported be CNNMoney. It was then that Mr. Icahn purchased 0.82% of the stock and first proposed the idea of a Paypal spinoff that was rejected by the auction site. Not being one to give up, Mr. Icahn went on to nominate two of his employees to be place on the board of directors.
Before taking on eBay Mr. Icahn became most famously know in the tech community for his 7 month long battle with Dell, Inc founder Michael Dell. Michael Dell won the battle and took his company private but not before Mr. Icahn was able to get Mr Dell and Silver Lake to raise their bind to take Dell, Inc private.