Meg Whitman, the CEO of eBay ( EBAY), has resigned from the board of directors of Goldman Sachs ( GS). Whitman's resignation is effective immediately, Goldman Sachs said in a statement. The investment bank did not offer any explanation for Whitman'sdeparture, although her tenure on the board became part of a controversy when it was revealed that she and other prominent executives received shares in initial public offerings handled by Goldman. "We are grateful to Meg for the contribution she has made as adirector," said Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson Jr. in the statement. eBay ( EBAY) representatives did not immediately return calls seekingcomment on Whitman's resignation from Goldman's board. Whitman joined Goldman Sach's board in October 2001. Her role at thecompany came under
scrutiny in Octoberafter a congressional investigation revealed that she had received shares in more than 100 initial publicofferings of stock managed by Goldman Sachs since 1996, re-selling many ata profit. Goldman dispensed shares to other high-profile executives, such asformer Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay, former Tyco ( TYC) CEO DennisKozlowski, Yahoo! ( YHOO) co-founder Jerry Yang and TheStreet.com ( TSCM) director Martin Peretz, according to the congressionalreport. But Whitman's receipt of the IPO shares raised eyebrows because of herrole on the board, her previously positive reputation and suggestions thatthe IPO shares were part of a quid pro quo deal. Goldman Sachs managedeBay's own IPO in 1998 and helped with the company's acquisition of PayPalearlier this year. Goldman Sachs did not pressure Whitman to resign from its board, saidcompany spokesman Lucas Van Praag. Goldman will seek to find a replacementfor her, he said. Whitman, who has served on eBay's board since 1998, is set to join theboard of directors of Procter & Gamble ( PG) in January. She has previouslyserved on the board of Staples.