It was a war of words between activist investor Carl Icahn and Marc Andreessen, silicon valley investor and founder of Andreessen Horowitz. Andreessen told CNBC that he wasn’t opposed to activist investing necessarily, and some investors create value for companies, but he accused Carl Icahn of making permanent changes in a company for his own purposes. He went on to call Icahn an “evil Captain Kirk” (referring to a Star Trek episode in which an evil version of Captain Kirk sabotages the crew of the Starship Enterprise), and added, “He lies, he just makes stuff up. It’s like his inner six year old comes out.”
In response, Carl Icahn told CNBC, “I’m no fan of Marc Andreesson. I try to listen to him, but he talks in a high squeaky voice, you know, and when he talks you can’t really hear him, in my opinion.” He mocked Andreesson for “taking the high moral ground when it’s a known fact he’s screwed more people than Casanova.” Among other things, Icahn accuses Andreesson of having stolen Skype from eBay.
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“I get incensed … He literally stole Skype from eBay. Skype had a valued of $2.7 billion when he bought 65% of it. Eighteen months later, he sold it to eBay for $8.2 billion. Don’t you think there is something wrong with that? And he’s still sitting on the board … I believe he was willing to steal Paypal from eBay just like he stole Skype.”
Recently, eBay announced it was spinning off Paypal, a strategy Carl Icahn had been recommending.