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Wed Sept 3 2008 23:25:52

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

By: Ina Steiner

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ChannelAdvisor laid off four Vice Presidents last month, and there are reports that there were major layoffs today at the ecommerce firm that services eBay sellers. Jeffrey Buechler, an Enterprise Sales Executive at ChannelAdvisor, blogged that he had been laid off along with about 35 other people on Wednesday, estimating it was about 15 percent of the workforce. I'm not sure if that includes the layoffs in Atlanta.

An anonymous email sent to AuctionBytes last month reported that Kevin Fitzgerald, Jennifer Gibson, Ralph Kasuba and Walter Goodlett were suddenly axed, with a reason given internally that the move was part of a reshuffle to streamline the business and make it more profitable. The names of those four Vice Presidents no longer appear on the Management Team page on the ChannelAdvisor website, having been removed sometime in the last 3 weeks. Fitzgerald was VP of Sales (and has already moved to a new company); Gibson was Vice President of International; Kasuba was VP of Engineering; and Goodlett was VP of Human Resources. There appears to be no Chief Financial Officer - Bill Brown, brought in after ChannelAdvisor raised $30 million and before it acquired MarketWorks, left the company earlier this year

There's room for speculation, ranging from a correction to tighten spending, to serious financial problems, to a lack of VC funding just as eBay is rocking seller's worlds with their changes.

I will be talking to ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo tomorrow and will report the official take on this business. In the meantime, good luck to the folks affected.

Update 9/4/08: More information can be found in today's AuctionBytes Newsflash.




Comments (48) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: Stephen

Thu Sep 4 01:57:49 2008

More and more sellers (who sell exclusively on ebay), have realized that ebay's Blackthorne software, in its current 2008 version, is an absolute bargain-compared to any of the overpriced 3P software apps out there. The Blackthorne team has really stepped up to the challenge and ebay is still basically giving it away, compared to the old-school 3P guys...

Also, many large, multi-channel, volume sellers (like at least 3 huge media sellers I know), have paid independent developers to create their own software applications to do all the same automation software the 3P companies claim only they do best...time are changing, the nimble can make do with other tools...

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: Tank

Thu Sep 4 02:15:38 2008

Oh and I'm sure that'd he'd pass a polygraph test on what he has to say tomorrow.  LOL.

I guess the name of that stupid stick figure cartoon they had was right on the money.  "TANK."    Hoooya.  Maybe if they weren't blowing cash on stupid cartoons they wouldn't need to lay people off.  Hoooya.

Maybe if they do another episode it'll be "Tank Stinkman gets a new job."  Or "Tank Stinkman at the unemployment office."

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Sep 4 04:16:10 2008

It's a shame when innocent, hard working people lose their livelihoods.

These four VPs, however, and the others laid off are just a small blip on the radar compared to the small businesses that have gone under because ebay can't get its together and even today continues to make non sensical often contrqadictory policy changes.

Perhaps Scott Wingo needs to re evaluate his role as ebay cheerleader and general suckup.

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: JD

Thu Sep 4 05:44:41 2008

I always wondered how MJ and his fratboy antics could lead to a successful business model.  Unfortunately for those laid off, I guess this proves he can't.

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: voodoo

Thu Sep 4 07:15:48 2008

Take not Ebay employees. You just might be next as Ebay is circling the drain.

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: tiredofebaygames

Thu Sep 4 07:18:59 2008

I wish there was a way to get rid of Scott Wingo.

His pro-eBay stance when there is reason to dispise eBay bugs me but his little beady snake eyes bother me more.

He is a snake and you can not believe what he says.

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: Better Info

Thu Sep 4 08:01:43 2008

http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/1205731.html

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: Ex-CA

Thu Sep 4 08:32:31 2008

Here's what you gotta love about Wingo. He gets $60 mil in VC, his company can't turn a profit in 10 years, he lays off 45 people, and he puts out a press release smokescreening the company's problems by saying that he's suckered yet ANOTHER VC to give CA an additional $20 mil!

BRAVO Scot! See you at WSOP!

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: Chuck

Thu Sep 4 08:35:06 2008

Looks like a sound business move to me.

If you want to streamline operations and increase profitability, what better place to start than the top and mid level management.  

Cutting those large salaries will free up much more money than laying off CS level employees.

I see nothing more here than a solid company preparing for the economic uncertainty that we should all be prepared for.

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: A Seller

Thu Sep 4 11:37:55 2008

I've been with this vendor since the original Auctionworks permutation. I stuck with them through each of their "improvements" many of which meant a loss of functionality and no customer service. You'll notice that I am not using my name here. Why? I was publicly critical of the service and they threatened to cut off my account and possibly sue me.  I've stopped using them to launch eBay sales simply because they've layered on additional percentage based fees that increased my obligation to them by 600%. Now I use a free service to manage my auctions and use them only as a storefront. Scott Wingo? Don't get me started.

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: whatever

Thu Sep 4 11:43:01 2008

Ebay always betrays any company that they work with, except for Scot Wingo's companies.

For whaever reason Scot has always enjoyed some kind of weird relationship with Ebay that has made him immune from being screwed by Ebay management.

Maybe it is "helpful" comments he makes, like telling people not to file for their final value fee back, if they want to keep their DSRs up.

But for whatever reason, it looks like the tide might be turning.

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: Roger S

Thu Sep 4 11:48:46 2008

Are the layoffs just in the US office or worldwide does anyone know?  I'm in Europe and been a customer for some time.  Wondering if account management will be affected?

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: CMFNC

Thu Sep 4 12:18:20 2008

Read the article and look at the newest round of investors....Right in the middle is eBay.  Intersting?

The latest round of funding was led by New Enterprise Associates. Other investors include Advanced Technology Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, eBay and Southern Capitol Ventures in RTP.

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: JezebelsCollectibles

Thu Sep 4 13:15:32 2008

Unfortunately, I'm not surprised...I am a former customer of ChannelAdvisor who was with them from the very start when they were AuctionRover and Spot was our beloved symbol.  When CA made the announcement late this winter about all of us "originals" not only losing our grandfathered status, but being forced to pay huge fees (IF we continued with CA) that were not even close to feasible unless you're a large business, we were stunned.  I didn't expect the cheap ride to last forever, but the dumping of the babies out with the bathwater was a bit of a slap in the face to all of us who helped and believed and were loyal for oh so many years in an industry that loyalty is a daily matter.  Perhaps today's news it's just a short-term shake-up and they will arise on top, but I would never be happy being at the top by standing on the corpses of my loyal customers.  When will someone learn that the race for the almighty buck may pay your mortgage, but what feeds your soul?  There are hugely successful business models out there that still truly believe their customers are number one and their execs can sleep at night....but so many see the Walmart view and go for the gusto and I'm just saying at what cost???  Sad....I miss good ole Spot....

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: Rowldo Kowloon

Thu Sep 4 14:37:50 2008

You all wonder why CA get an easy ride from ebay? Look at http://www.channeladvisor.com/company/investor.html and scroll down the last investor - you'll see what I mean. :o)

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: Peter Leeflang/CEO Leeflang Archives Corporation

Thu Sep 4 15:42:57 2008

No surprise.

I talked twice with CA employeees at their Ebay show stands, and they were all bla bla, selling mostly marketing vaporware at an enormous price.

That may work for major super sellers who have deep pockets, but most Ebay sellers are not that way. They tried picking low hanging fruit sellers and are now ending upo with nothing, as the real market is with small and midsize sellers, who do not require expensive infrastructure like theirs.

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: Fed Up

Thu Sep 4 16:45:07 2008

Ebay and CA go hand in hand. It's just taking ebay a little longer to start dumping some of their execs.

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: Carol

Thu Sep 4 17:15:58 2008

They arevery arrogant people CA. I contacted them to ask if they would be working with bang4bucks in Australia as I list around 5000 products a month and it is very hard to do without some stock control, I wanted to support the new site and the arroance of CA was shocking, the response was when bang4bucks can afford to pay us we will integrate well I hope now that it is growing and they have launched the wholesale site that when the time comes they get told by b4b to stick it.
High and mighty company who are going to fall over and IMO they asked for it

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: whatever

Thu Sep 4 17:40:05 2008

Rowldo wrote, "You all wonder why CA get an easy ride from ebay? Look at http://www.channeladvisor.com/company/investor.html and scroll down the last investor - you'll see what I mean. :o)"

Aha!  It makes sense now.  Looks like CA is in Ebay's pocket, not a "partnership" but owned by them.  

Makes sense now that Ebay hasn't driven them out-of-business like they've done with all of their other "partners."

Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor   Layoffs at eBay Vendor ChannelAdvisor

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Thu Sep 4 20:50:24 2008

The large group of sellers who are under the wing of the "certified providers" of "advertising packages" (that are sold on ebay by these very same parasites) will be exempt from paying any extra fees for listings, stores, advertising etc etc..(groups like the ones that use CA and AS WAS. They get top listings, they get business directed to them through search engine optimization, and they buy ad words through the provider, that they pay boo-koo bucks for.

ANY policy change made by ebay is simply to benefit it's most "advantaged" and most "important" sellers, who are under the protection of these phony and parasitic bloodsucking advertising gurus. Make no mistake about it, Channel Advisor's changes will not be for anyone's interest but ebay's pocket, and their own.Scott is all about squeezing ebay for whatever he can get out of them. And now that ebay is suffering a downgraded stock value, he is cutting his own losses.

Scott is all over the stock and financial blogs tryng to pay off the writers to make ebay look good in all of  their decision making blunders. That's because most of these decisions were made by the advice of CA(himself) and some of the other parasites just like them.

I'm pretty certain that Scott also slinks around the blogs here, and other comment boards, where he can report back to the BOD and the admins of ebay where he can distort his "take" on everyone's comments, as being "upset" with all the "changes".

Those changes are a direct result of symbiotic relationships between ebay and these jacked up computer programmers.

mark my words, ebay will be eaten alive by these bugs, no matter how many of them they decide to cut off their surface.

You know, it's one thing to have various advertising venues on a media site(that is the appropriate place for them), and it's another thing to paste it all over your commercial resident's auctions, and let the advertiser decide for you who you should be renting space to...

Scott has been one of the major downfalls of ebay. So is Debbie, and the rest of those "tiers" that were built just for them. Eliminate those folks, and the ebay sellers would be perfectly fine and bringing the stock right where it should be.

But it's too late, ebay lost everyone, and now they are headed in the direction  of the specialty auctions who will soon be catering to their needs the way ebay should have been.

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