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eBay Responds to Starboard Critique: Committed to Driving Value

eBay Responds to Starboard Critique: Committed to Driving Value

eBay issued a statement in response to a letter from activist investor Starboard Value LP to its Chairman Thomas Tierney and interim CEO Scott Schenkel – see this morning’s Newsflash article (“Starboard to eBay: Sell Classifieds, Cut Marketplace Costs“).

In the statement, eBay said its Board of Directors and management team were “aligned in their commitment to taking all appropriate steps to drive the value of the Company,” and said they have “implemented changes based on investor input and have taken significant actions to deliver long-term shareholder value and strengthen the business.”

“Through that lens, we will review Starboard’s letter and perspectives as we continue to rigorously review our business and opportunities for growth and value creation,” eBay stated.

eBay published a list of decisions it had made in 2019 “to enhance value that led to positive results and positioned the Company for future growth,” which included delivering on its financial commitments; scaling growth initiatives; delivering better margins; returning significant capital to shareholders; executing on portfolio transformation; and refreshing the Board with investor perspectives.

“While eBay’s Board and leadership team are confident that the above actions will help us achieve our previously-stated priorities for 2020 and position eBay for sustainable, profitable long-term growth, we remain open to all value-enhancing opportunities,” eBay stated.

You can find the full statement on the eBay corporate blog.

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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/.

3 thoughts on “eBay Responds to Starboard Critique: Committed to Driving Value”

    1. So in other words, business as usual for Ebay. Then they sit and wonder why their revenues continue to drop and even their overstated/inflated GMV is declining (8% in the US alone). Management and the BOD should really have Ebay standing up and reconnecting to their Sellers to find out what our ideas are and how can they get our business back (probably no way that will ever happen now), rather than announcing that once again they are going punish sellers by announcing the permanent demise of Turbo Lister which so many sellers use. When they first announced this potential over 3 years ago Sellers were still making enough on their sales that they probably could have monetized Turbo Lister, but not anymore, so this will just cost Ebay more GMV, listings and Sellers who many of are also Buyers. But once again, Ebay management has their heads in the ground while making nothing but short term decisions with no understanding of the consequences of their decisions.

  1. The ebay management team had been backed into a corner. There are too many things they cant do.

    They cant continue to hide listings, witch means they cant continue to push promoted listings.
    The cant continue to kick sellers of used, vintage and collectible to the curb any more.
    They cant raise fee’s any more…..too many sellers are leaving already.
    They cant continue to push Chinese sellers items (lowers their take and drives down prices).

    As a seller it is past the point of complaining. I would love to sell just on ebay. but thats impossible now.
    With all the small changes that they made that add up to both collecting more in fee’s from me and driving down prices has destroyed a thriving business. There is little prospect for me on ebay in the future. The margin just isnt there any more. High priced items are too risky to sell on ebay any more, and low priced items are fee’d to death by ebay because of their driving down prices, and FVF on shipping. Whats left is middle priced items that EVERYBODY is trying to sell. Good job ebay!

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