Katie Burke Mitic, one of the top Facebook executives who recently left the company, is also a member of eBay’s board of directors.She disclosed her departure from Facebook to her Facebook friends yesterday. This raised an interesting issue: Should eBay disclose it, too, in Mitic’s bio?
In 2010, the SEC began requiring that public companies disclose what qualifications its directors have.
Here’s what eBay says about Mitic:
The Board concluded that Ms. Mitic should continue to serve as a director of eBay in part due to her extensive experience as a technology leader and entrepreneur obtained from her various positions, including her current position with a major global consumer-facing technology company, which is relevant given that eBay is a global consumer-focused technology company with a continuing need to innovate.
Mitic just left “her current position with a major global consumer-facing technology company.” The SEC does not make it clear whether or when eBay must immediately notify investors of a change to a director’s biography, as it would with a change to senior management.
Mitic has a long, distinguished Silicon Valley resume, including stints at Palm and Yahoo. It would be fine for eBay to say that that’s good enough to keep her on the board (and we understand Mitic disclosed her departure to eBay’s board.) We’d expect eBay to eventually tell investors as much and update its reasoning for keeping Mitic on the board. It’s just not clear, under the new SEC rules, when eBay must do so.
We asked eBay PR and Mitic through her Facebook page for comment. No word back yet.
*Update: In the original version of this story, we implied that eBay and/or Ms. Mitic were doing something wrong by not having already updated the SEC filings. The SEC’s disclosure requirements in this case, however, are unclear, and, even if an update is required here, common sense suggests that there should be a reasonable grace period in which it can be made (some changes at companies are highly material and, therefore require immediate disclosure, but this is not one of them). We apologise for our original implication.