EBay CEO quits Goldman board
Margaret Whitman resigns amid concerns over IPO allocations from the investment bank.
December 20, 2002: 7:15 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Ebay Inc CEO Margaret Whitman quit as a director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. amid questions over shares of initial public offerings she received from the investment bank, according to a published report Friday.

Whitman has said she did nothing wrong by accepting the IPO shares and that the offerings did not help Goldman Sachs win additional business from eBay, which has paid the Wall Street firm $8 million for investment banking services since 1996, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In October, Congressional investigators disclosed that Goldman allocated shares of more than 100 IPOs to Whitman since 1996 and she then quickly sold those shares for a profit, in a practice known as "spinning."

"If we wanted to use Goldman's services, she doesn't want there to be even the slightest perception of any conflict," eBay spokesman Henry Gomez told the paper. "She's doing this because she thinks quite highly of the firm."

Goldman also doled out IPO share to other high-profile business names, such as Tyco's former CEO Dennis Kozlowski and Global Crossing's Leo Hindery. But Whitman and Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang received shares in dozens more deals than most other executives, according to the Journal.

Proceeds from the sale of Whitman's IPO shares amounted to nearly $1.8 million, a fraction of her total wealth once valued at more than $1 billion, but now estimated at $750 million to $800 million, the paper reported.

Shares of eBay (EBAY: Research, Estimates) fell 64 cents Thursday to close at $68.73 and shares of Goldman Sachs (GS: Research, Estimates), which reported fourth-quarter results, fell $3.40 to $70.30.  Top of page

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