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Walmart Snags eBay Vet as It Seeks Marketplace Sellers

Walmart snagged a 12-year veteran of eBay as it revealed plans to open its Marketplace to thousands of sellers. Jordan Sweetnam was most recently Vice President of Seller Experience for eBay, where he oversaw the development, strategy and delivery of tools and experiences to sellers. He joined Walmart this month as Vice President of Global Product at Walmart eCommerce.

Walmart spokesperson Bao Nguyen confirmed the hire, telling EcommerceBytes, “We’re excited for Jordan to bring his rich ecommerce experience to build new experiences for Walmart customers across mobile, online and stores, leading our global user experience and product management teams.”

As we reported on Friday, Walmart is seeking to accelerate the growth of its Marketplace and go from its current number of “hundreds” of third-party merchants to thousands.

Walmart launched its first retail website in 2000, and in 2014 began rolling out a new platform. Ben Galbraith, who was Vice President of Global Products at Walmart.com until his departure a year ago, says on his LinkedIn profile that he was a key leader in a multi-year re-platforming effort at Walmart. “I focused on building an entirely new ecommerce site on top of the platform; was also responsible for stewarding the legacy site throughout the transition period.”

The company is not resting on its laurels. Chainstore Age noted on Monday that Walmart spent more on IT than any other company globally in 2015, to the tune of more than $10.5 billion, citing data from IDC. “No other retailer, not fellow large tech-focused organization Amazon.com, cracked the top 10 list,” it reported.

IDC called out Walmart’s ecommerce expansion plans as a notable tech project, “with $2 billion earmarked for ecommerce spending by 2017. The company has also been growing its curbside grocery pickup offering, and operates a proprietary innovation lab in San Bruno, California.”

As of January 31, 2016, Walmart operated ecommerce websites in 11 countries, and operates 13 ecommerce dedicated fulfillment centers in the US alone.

Sweetnam joined eBay in 2004 as Director of Site Analytics and also had roles in buyer experience and product marketing before becoming Vice President of Seller Experience in 2014.

eBay told EcommerceBytes last week it wished him success as he continues his career and told us it was in the process of hiring his successor.

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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/.