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eBay Founder Stepping Down From Company's Board in "Reimagining" of Its Business

By Eric Volkman - Sep 11, 2020 at 6:09PM

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Pierre Omidyar will remain "chairman emeritus" at the company he created.

One of the top figures of the late 1990s/early 2000s internet company boom is stepping down from the business he created. It was reported on Friday that Pierre Omidyar has relinquished his seat on eBay's (EBAY 1.79%) board of directors. He will, however, remain a director emeritus, an honorary title with no voting rights that will allow him to attend board and board committee meetings upon invitation by those bodies.

Omidyar's move was accompanied by the departure of Jesse Cohn from the board. Cohn is from Elliott Management, an activist hedge fund that revealed in January 1999 it bought a $1.4 billion stake in the company.

No reasons for the two resignations were given. eBay did say that they weren't related to any disagreements with the company.

eBay's offices in Berlin, Germany, at dusk.

Image source: eBay.

Replacing Omidyar and Cohn as directors are Carol Hayles and Mohak Shroff. Hayles is a finance industry veteran whose most recent executive position was as CFO of CIT Group, while Shroff is senior vice president of engineering at employment services portal operator LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft.

The Wall Street Journal quoted eBay's chairman of the board Paul Pressler as saying that the new directors "will add significant experience and expertise at a critical time to support the technology-led reimagination of eBay." He did not elaborate.

eBay has been doing well of late, fueled by a migration to online sales in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Omidyar founded the company in 1995; it was initially known as AuctionWeb. He has not yet commented on his resignation. 

Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends eBay and recommends the following options: short January 2021 $37 calls on eBay, long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft, long January 2021 $18 calls on eBay, and short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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