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When You’re CTO of eBay and Your Son Complains

When You're CTO of eBay and Your Son Complains

The head of eBay technology is accountable to an 18-year-old – Mazen Rawashdeh gets feedback from his son who buys and sells on eBay.

eBay’s top executives are responsible for running all aspects of the business, and on Thursday, the company shared their “eBay stories” as buyers and sellers.

Most if not all of the stories already appeared on the eBay Inc. “Our Leaders” page at the end of their bio, but Thursday’s post aggregates the stories in one place. If you wish to see the photos and bios of the 11 executives, you can find them on this page of eBayInc.com.

Many of the executives relayed stories of how they and their families used eBay to buy and sell items, from clothing to toys to hard-to-find replacement parts. Several executives spoke of sellers they had met who had made an impression on them.

But one story stood out. Mazen Rawashdeh, Chief Technology Officer for eBay, shared the following:

“My 18-year-old son is an avid eBay buyer and seller. I regularly hear his compliments and complaints on both buying and selling experiences. This reminds me how relevant and accessible our commerce platform is to users of all ages.”

Imagine being the head of eBay technology and having your 18-year-old tell you what he really thinks of it as a user. Do teenagers hold back on what they think? And do parents listen? It would be fun to hear more from father and son about their unique perspectives on eBay.

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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 “When You’re CTO of eBay and Your Son Complains”

  1. I’ve always had an issue with eBay employees (particularly higher-ups) and their immediate family buying and selling on the site. I’ve had many reps over the years proudly tell me that they too are eBay sellers. But what happens when there is a dispute and one of the parties is an eBay insider? Does that not present a conflict of interest? Judges frequently refuse to hear a case if they have a vested interest in the outcome (owning stock in a company being sued, for example). Employees of various lotteries and their immediate families are generally not permitted to play. Why do eBay employees seem to think it’s a great thing that they use the site? I’ve heard the argument that if they use the site first-hand, they are more likely to be aware of common issues. However, I rarely talk to an eBay employee that even acknowledges an issue after I tell them about it, much less one that knew about it beforehand.

  2. Feeding your kid the corporate dog food is the next best thing to eating it yourself. And most eBay execs realistically aren’t going to have the free time to wait in line at the Post Office shipping packages just to walk in our shoes.

    If it keeps him grounded in the real world that the rest of us have to live in, then good.

    It seemed to me that Harry Temkin ‘got it’ more than many of the eBay suits. When you talked to him about problems or suggestions he would respond saying how that might impact his son’s eBay sneaker selling business one way or the other. It was good to know that the point was clearly understood.

    I wouldn’t want to get into a dispute involving an eBay staff member’s store, but maybe there are special handling arrangements within GCX for that?

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