Web browser pioneer Marc Andreessen resigned from the board of EBay Inc., saying that the separation of the online marketplace and its PayPal Inc. payments service marks the right time to step down.
Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a board member at Hewlett-Packard Co., has complete confidence in the ability of EBay Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe and the board to successfully split the company, he said in a statement from EBay today.
The resignation follows a contentious campaign by activist shareholder Carl Icahn to split the company, in which the activist shareholder said Andreessen and fellow director Scott Cook had conflicts of interest. Icahn criticized EBays corporate governance, and in April EBay announced an agreement with him that avoided a proxy contest. EBay unveiled plans to spin off PayPal last month.
EBay and PayPal are considered takeover candidates after their split, for buyers such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Google Inc., according to analysts. PayPal will become a stand- alone company by the end of next year. Hewlett-Packard, run by former EBay CEO Meg Whitman, is also splitting up.
Andreessen joined the board of San Jose, California-based EBay in September 2008. The company, founded in 1995, enabled $205 billion of commerce volume last year.
Andreessen was a co-developer of Mosaic, the first widely used Web browser, and founded Netscape, a software producer that was purchased in 1999 by the former America Online Inc.
Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm Andreessen co-founded.