Marc Andreessen quits eBay board ahead of PayPal spinoff

By Reuters

Oct 20, 2014 09:47 AM EDT

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said he was quitting EBay Inc's (EBAY.O) board following the online retailer's decision last month to spin off its electronic payment unit, PayPal.

The Silicon Valley pioneer has been involved in a public war of words with activist investor Carl Icahn, one of eBay's largest shareholders, who convinced the company to spin off PayPal after a long campaign.

"After 6 years of service + completed decision to split, I've decided now is a good time to step off the eBay board of directors," Andreessen tweeted on Monday. (

Icahn could not be immediately reached for comment.

Andreessen's spat with Icahn involved some highly personal attacks by both sides.

Icahn said in March that Andreessen, as a member of eBay's board, had a conflict of interest when the company sold its online phone service Skype in 2009 to private investors, including Andreessen's venture capital firm.

Andreessen, in an interview to CNBC this month, likened Icahn to an "evil Captain Kirk" and said that the activist investor cared little for the companies in which he became involved. (

Icahn, in an interview to CNBC a day after, said "Andreessen has screwed more people than Casanova." He also said the eBay board member had a "high squeaky voice that only a dog can hear."

The move to spin off PayPal in 2015 came as a huge about-face for eBay's leadership, who had until then resisted Icahn's calls for a split and led a months-long campaign to convince investors that eBay should remain intact.

Andreessen is best known as a co-developer of Mosaic, among the first widely used Web browsers, and as a co-founder of Netscape Communications Corp, the maker of the Netscape Navigator browser.

EBay's shares were little changed in premarket trading. The stock closed at $47.95 on Friday on the Nasdaq.

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