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Intuit Founder Scott Cook Declines PayPal Board Seat

On May 14th, eBay announced that longtime board member Scott Cook would be appointed to the PayPal board after the split. In a filing with the SEC this week, eBay revealed that Cook “subsequently determined that he would not join the Board.”

PayPal spokesperson Jennifer Hakes confirmed the news and told EcommerceBytes, “We respect Scott’s decision.”

Cook co-founded Intuit in 1983 and remains a board member there. According to his profile on the Intuit website, he also sits on the boards of Procter & Gamble; the Harvard Business School Dean’s Advisory Board; the Center for Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin; and the Intuit Scholarship Foundation. The bio also still has him listed as a board member of PayPal as of Tuesday.

Cook came under scrutiny during his time as board member of eBay. When Carl Icahn was engaging in a public battle to force eBay to spin off PayPal last year, he criticized eBay for allowing Cook to remain on its board, accusing Cook and fellow board member Marc Andreessen of having conflicts of interest. Icahn noted Cook was a large shareholder and current board member of Intuit, a direct competitor in payment processing.

“How can the board have a conversation about the strategy or performance of PayPal when a representative of a direct competitor who has so much at stake is in the room,” Icahn had asked last year.

Icahn also referenced the allegations of a “no-poach” agreement that eBay and Intuit had entered into that prevented either company from recruiting employees from each other. The companies settled a lawsuit over the allegations earlier this year.

eBay defended Cook at the time, and clearly had felt comfortable appointing him to the post-split PayPal board in May.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.