On the same day it’s raising fees for a majority of sellers, eBay is holding its annual shareholder meeting where it offers the small audience of investors the opportunity to ask questions. Sellers aren’t known for using the event to confront top eBay executives on issues important to them, though over the years some have ventured to ask questions.
Last year, two sellers went further, with one telling eBay CEO John Donahoe and the Board of Directors about a pending policy that would result in his losing his Top Rated Seller status. (The policy was part of the new seller performance standards that went into effect in August.)
The second seller/shareholder congratulated eBay on its new seller procedures, describing himself as a longtime seller and saying he’d “never had it so easy to sell.”
One never knows what questions might pop up during the Q&A session of the meeting, held at eBay headquarters, but the agenda for the formal part of the meeting is set. One question on which shareholders will vote is Proposal 7, regarding the gender pay gap at eBay.
Proposal 7 makes the following request:
“Shareholders request eBay Inc. prepare a report by September 2015, omitting proprietary information and prepared at reasonable cost, on the Company’s policies and goals to reduce the gender pay gap.”
eBay has disclosed that 42% of its workforce is female, but only 28% of its management team is female. But, proponents of the proposal say eBay also has a poor track record around pay parity disclosure:
- eBay’s workforce diversity reporting does not include any compensation data, or speak to issues of gender pay parity.
- eBay’s workforce diversity disclosure fails to explain the disparity between the gender composition of eBay’s leadership (28% female) and its broader workforce (42% female).
Read more information about the proxy questions in this Newsflash article from March.
As we’ve noted, this is the last shareholder meeting before the company splits its Marketplaces and PayPal payments units. Whether eBay executives will provide any more details about the breakup isn’t known – you can listen to the webcast on the eBay Investor Relations website.
And visit the EcommerceBytes Blog to comment on the May 1st fee increase.