Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, steps down from its board

EBay founder Pierre Omidyar has stepped down from the online auction platform’s board of directors, the company said.

The billionaire tech entrepreneur resigned from the board Tuesday alongside Jesse Cohn of Elliott Management, the activist investment firm that has pushed for changes at eBay in recent years, the company announced Thursday.

Omidyar and Cohn will be replaced by Carol Hayles, a former financial boss at Citigroup and CIT Group; and Mohak Shroff, senior vice president of engineering at LinkedIn.

EBay gave Omidyar — who started the site in as AuctionWeb in 1995 — the honorary role of “director emeritus,” meaning he can attend board meetings when invited but will not be considered a board member or have voting rights, according to a regulatory filing.

“Pierre invented eBay 25 years ago and has been instrumental in helping make the company what it is today,” eBay board chairman Paul Pressler said in a statement. “We are grateful for his guidance and we will continue to realize his vision.”

Pressler also praised Cohn for helping with eBay’s internal reviews that led the California-based company to sell its StubHub ticket marketplace and its classified ads business within the past year. Elliott Management, where Cohn is an equity partner, had argued that those segments had “distracted” eBay from its core marketplace business.

Omidyar, 53, owns about 4.7 percent of eBay’s stock, tying him the company’s largest individual shareholder, Bloomberg data show.

He has a net worth of $10.2 billion between his stakes in eBay and Paypal — which eBay spun off in 2015 — along with cash and other assets, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

Filed under