Marc Andreesen to Quit eBay Board

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

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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. (http://bit.ly/ZLxCpm)

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.

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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. (http://cnb.cx/1yaSJjy)

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. (Reporting by Sai Sachin R in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)