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Incoming CEO Wants to Evolve the eBay Brand

eBay’s next CEO told the Korea JoongAng Daily he wants to evolve the eBay brand. During a recent visit to Seoul, Devin Wenig shared his thoughts about what he hopes to accomplish when he takes over later this year, after the breakup with PayPal.

Actually, what I hope to accomplish as the new CEO is to begin to evolve the brand a bit. According to Interbrand (a market researcher), eBay is the No. 28 brand in the world.

But most people associate it with what you said. We are not embarrassed about it, but now 70 percent of what we sell is new and at a fixed price. We want the eBay brand to be associated with being able to shop for anything, however you want. If I want vintage, I can get that, but I might want brand-new shoes, for instance.

Details about the operating agreement between PayPal and eBay reveal the companies will not be allowed to compete with each other for at least 5 years after the breakup – it will be “business as usual” for buyers and sellers, as one analyst put it. But that doesn’t mean the new CEO doesn’t have changes planned for eBay as he focuses on large brands.

Factoid: The next CEO of eBay was a Mergers & Acquisition attorney. Devin Wenig said the experience taught him he didn’t want to be a lawyer.

Wenig’s comments to the JoongAng Daily echo what he has said in the past, such as this interview from 2012:

But the company’s leading‑edge culture still remains somewhat at odds with its popular image. Most people think of eBay as an online flea market, a place to sell old movie posters, vintage tableware and whatever else they find in their attics. In fact, only about 25% of the company’s sales are from auctions. The majority of the site’s business comes from major retailers like Best Buy and Toys “R” Us, which sell their products on the site. The company also is the world’s leading seller of goods via online and mobile devices, surpassing even Amazon.

The “Amazonification” of eBay began before he joined the company, but it’s clear the CEO-in-waiting is on board with that philosophy.

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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/.