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eBay Pressured to Fill CEO Spot and Add Four to Board

eBay Pressured to Fill CEO Spot and Add Four to Board

Activist investor Starboard Value LP made public its demands to eBay that it hire an outside candidate for its CEO position and add four new members to its Board of Directors.

In a letter today to Thomas Tierney, eBay’s Chairman of the Board, Starboard said it was primarily focused on eBay’s CEO search process and the development of an improved operating plan.

eBay had named its Chief Financial Officer Scott Schenkel to be interim CEO after the departure of Devin Wenig in mid-September, but Schenkel does not appear to have the confidence of Starboard. It urged eBay to focus on external candidates who would “bring a fresh perspective and energy to the Company after its prolonged underperformance.”

Starboard may have a candidate in mind. “The new CEO must be capable of making sustainable improvements to the core Marketplace business that can drive profitable growth by focusing on eBay’s strengths and competitive advantages,” the investor wrote. But if so, it didn’t name him or her.

However, it did name four people who Starboard believes eBay should add to its board of directors, including two former eBay executives: Stephanie Tilenius and Shannon (Stubo) Brayton, former Chief Marketing Officer of LinkedIn.

Tilenius joined eBay in 2001 and helped build eBay’s business in Korea and Asia Pacific. (Former CEO Meg Whitman referred to herself and Tilenius as “Thelma and Louise” when the pair traveled together in China.) Tilenius was credited with strengthening eBay Motors and helping to build PayPal’s merchant services. She left in 2010 for a gig at Google where she ran Commerce and Payments for 2 years. In 2014, she founded Vida Health, where she currently serves as CEO.

Starboard also nominated Peter A. Feld, Managing Member and Head of Research at Starboard Value LP; and Eddy W. Hartenstein, former publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times Media Group.

Shareholders will vote on the proposed members at the 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

We’ll update this story if and when eBay comments on receipt of Starboard’s letter.

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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/.