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eBay Loses Chief Technology Officer at Critical Time

Steve Fisher
eBay Loses Chief Technology Officer Steve Fisher at Critical Time

eBay is losing its Chief Technology Officer in 2 days, it announced in a filing with the SEC on Wednesday. (See update below.)

“On May 15, 2019, eBay Inc. announced that Steve Fisher, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, is stepping down effective May 17, 2019 to focus on health issues that his family is facing.”

The news comes 2 months after the departure of eBay’s Chief Information Officer and 3 months after the departure of the head of eBay Marketplaces when the company underwent a reorganization.

Fisher’s departure also comes as eBay undertakes a major technology initiative: taking over payment processing from PayPal. In June 2018, Fisher had assumed the role of Senior Vice President of Payments, but he resumed his role as Chief Technology Officer 5 months later.

His parting gift appears to be an updated authentication system, announced today.

Update 5/16/19: eBay CEO Devin Wenig said of the departure, “Steve Fisher, eBay’s highly respected CTO, is stepping down to focus on health issues that his family is facing. His passion for eBay, our customers and our purpose has been exemplary. All of us at eBay are incredibly grateful for his leadership, friendship and commitment. We support him 100% as he turns his attention full time to his family.”

We’ve learned that Fisher’s wife is again battling cancer. It’s our understanding that Mazen Rawashdeh will continue to lead the Platform Engineering organization and Mohan Patt will continue to lead Buyer Experience, Ads and Structured Data.

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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/.

8 thoughts on “eBay Loses Chief Technology Officer at Critical Time”

  1. That is Good News, because there are many Programming errors that have been plaguing eBay; costing eBay billions in sales. Chief among the mistakes is the; AI algorithm search system, its a MESS of inaccurate search returns. eBay by fixing the goofy search system; sales will increase 10x!

  2. I’d leave also if my wife/husband was ill with cancer. Have been there – worst time of my life when he died.

  3. Oh no, another non-technical technical manager leaving, how ever will they do without him.

  4. Actually, Steve Fisher has a Masters in Computer Science. I just had a little fun looking up some of the names of the people who will be filling his role. Mazen Rawashdeh has a BS in Computer Science. He was with eBay until 2011 holding the position of VP of Technology Operations. He left for Twitter until 2016, when he returned to eBay once again in a new role of Chief Infrastructure and Architecture Officer. Sounds somewhat of a demotion from VP.

    Now somewhere along the line I ran into Jan Pederson, whose specialty is in AI. He joined eBay in February 2018 to lead their AI strategy. Now interestingly enough, the next thing that shows up is that he’s joined Uber in November 2018. Hmmm. I wonder if Devin and Jan had some problems. With Jan’s Doctorate in Statistics, I’m sure he could race around in that little head of Wenigs…..lol. Jan probably left eBay in disgust.

  5. One more little statistic that is quite interesting. On the GlassDoor website, eBay has 631 jobs listed. More than half are related to technology. Tells me they have quite a problem with being understaffed in their most critical department.

  6. When you expect to pay the same amount of money for programmers or others related to technology that you pay the outside contractors in India of course you are going to have a lot of openings. Ebay is notorious as is much of Silicon Valley for not wanting to pay for top qualify staffing and at least at Ebay the results show the difference in the abilities of what they do hire. I do feel for Fisher needing to leave due to his wifes health, but he was either overwhelmed with the position or had marching orders to not worry about the quality of programming that continues to plague Ebay. Ebay made a promise that they would no longer upload changes that had not been tested and proven to be working. That promise lasted less than 24 hours as they continue to write code and upload so that the Sellers can be their Beta
    testers as Wenig is to cheap to pay for the help that Ebay needs. If he had paid for quality in the first place, Ebay would not be in the position it is now, but it does not matter who he puts in this position, really have no control over what is happening with their technology. All Fisher has been is a figurehead since he has been here and all these replacements, being brought in from other Ebay positions so Ebay can make it look like they are addressing their issues are going to do is less than Fisher was allowed to do. By making these moves once again Wenig cuts payroll but without having to lay anybody off.

    I am sure that he was looking for a reason to get out of there since Wenig kept moving him around and without allowing him to fix what needs to be fixed. Although he left for reasons that are personal, this is just another upper management person jumping ship before Ebay upper management completely implodes. I am sure that although this was for personal reasons it is not going to set well with Elliott as yet another Upper Management person is no longer with the company which continues to make Wenig look like a pathetic CEO who cannot command the respect of his underlings.

  7. @Silver Ice King

    I totally agree with you. It’s unfortunate that Fisher did have this upsetting family issue to deal with, but I’m also as sure that working there must be a living hell even without outside personal issues. Most of the upper echelon seem to be puppets, being jerked left and right at Wenig’s whim. I’m sure he has his close little evils as well. My God, that picture of Wenig dressed as a pirate in his “pub” almost make me sick. It is just so not funny. Not to we small business people that he is intent on destroying.

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