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Can a New Executive Help eBay Define Its Brand?

The man who helped transform brands for Microsoft and Adobe is now in charge of the eBay brand. Karl Isaac joined eBay as Vice President of Global Brand, one of a trio of top executives joining the online marketplace.

As a much smaller company after the PayPal separation and with a new CEO, it’s an interesting time for eBay as it tries to appeal to online shoppers who might be confused about the eBay of 2016, especially as online auctions continue to falter and a tepid growth rate plagues the marketplace.

Isaac, who at one time was a senior product manager at Apple, led the digital brand launch of Bing. He comes to eBay from Adobe where he was head of Brand Strategy and Innovation, responsible for its full global brand portfolio of products and services.

In a YouTheDesigner interview on the UCreative Network, Isaac said “good” branding is much more than a logo or visual and verbal system. “Today great branding is rooted in creating highly relevant and meaningful experiences that people find delightful, useful, and easy,” he said. “Powerful brands need to go well beyond just their product or service and think holistically about the full customer experience and where they can solve problems and remove friction for their customers.”

eBay has been focusing on creating a product catalog and on consumer sellers. It also recently launched eBay-branded shipping supplies with an all-white logo and sporting the message, “Put this box to good use: Start selling on eBay.” It will be interesting to see if eBay makes any significant branding changes as it continues testing TV commercials, such as its test of a Mother’s Day ad in 16 markets.

Also joining eBay’s senior leadership team is David Doctorow, eBay’s new Head of Global Growth, where he will focus on driving consumer engagement around the world. According to the announcement, “eBay’s Global Growth team is dedicated to building world-class capabilities in pursuit of growth, advancing partnerships and driving success for our strategic business priorities. David was previously at Expedia. As their Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, David ran a portfolio of eight brands, covering 220 countries. His role was to grow traffic, transactions, revenue and EBITDA while there.”

And Mazen Rawashdeh is re-joining eBay as Chief Infrastructure and Architecture Officer, a new role. Rawashdeh joins from Twitter, where he was most recently Vice President of Infrastructure Operation Engineering. He had previously spent more than 10 years at eBay and was most recently VP of Technology Operations until 2011.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.