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eBay Goes Portlandia with Mobile Center of Excellence

Want to impact how millions of users shop on Android devices? Do you enjoy interesting and challenging projects? eBay wants to talk to you. That’s the opening hook in a job posting for an “Android Sr. Software Engineer” at eBay’s Portland, Oregon office, which specializes in developing mobile technology for the marketplace.

Rather than expect all of its tech talent (some of them inherited through acquisitions) to come to its corporate headquarters in San Jose, eBay operates tech hubs in cities around the world, and eBay recently named Kevin Hurst General Manager of the Portland office. Hurst was previously Vice President of Mobile Product at eBay.

“Hurst, a Portland native, will concentrate on expanding eBay’s presence in Portland while identifying best practices that can be tested and implemented in offices around the world, including development centers in Seattle, Austin and Israel,” eBay explained in a blog post. “As a company, eBay Inc. remains committed to pushing the boundaries of mobile technology.”

The Portland office is designated an eBay Center of Excellence, a concept that Wikipedia says refers to “a team, a shared facility or an entity that provides leadership, evangelization, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area.”

eBay went on to say of Hurst’s appointment: “Given the critical importance work environment has on recruiting the industry’s best technologists, Hurst will focus on opportunities to increase employee engagement and build on our thriving and innovative company culture.

“With more than 200 employees in an office space spanning 70,000 square feet, the downtown Portland office has become a key hub for eBay’s booming mobile business. The Portland team – which began with the 2010 acquisition of Critical Path Software – works on mobile applications and services for eBay’s Marketplaces, Classifieds, StubHub and eBay Enterprise business divisions.”

The engineering team in Portland is growing, eBay said, and pointed to “career opportunities at the cutting edge of mobile tech” on its careers site.

In an article about the appointment, Hurst told Geekwire eBay plans to hire artists to decorate the office walls with murals and outfit a stage with instruments “so that employees from some of the in-house bands can play music when taking a break” – welcome to Portlandia.

Geekwire also noted that eBay named Peter Mansour as the GM of its Seattle office, replacing Ken Moss who left in the spring. eBay had originally told Geekwire it had no plans to replace Moss.

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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/.