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Tue Mar 10 2009 09:35:28

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay management failed to meet performance targets set by the Board of Directors in 2008. As a result, top executives will not receive company Incentive Plan bonuses. In addition, "in light of the financial uncertainties caused by the global macroeconomic recession and credit crunch, the committee decided to freeze 2009 salaries for executive officers, including our CEO, at 2008 levels."

The information is detailed in the company's Proxy statement in advance of its annual meeting being held at the end of next month. (See today's AuctionBytes Newsflash article.) Shareholders will vote at the meeting on a program to bail out employees stuck with currently worthless ("underwater") options.

While some are expecting eBay to make announcements at its Analyst Day tomorrow, Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets expects eBay to announce a round of seller/platform changes in April to be implemented in June, with a second round of announcements coming well in advance of the key holiday selling period, perhaps in the middle of the third quarter. He issued a company note in advance of Analyst Day and wrote that he expects one or more of the following initiatives to be announced next month:

Broader rollout of product catalogs and creation of structured data sets to improve product search results, data mining capabilities and overall site merchandising. Catalogs and tracking of SKUs by UPC and other unique identifiers should also help powersellers better align their listings with buyer demand.

More detailed and robust product pages. While product pages on eBay could ultimately have more in common with Amazon's format, we believe that more detailed product pages and further blending of fixed price and auction listings should enhance the shopping experience and could drive higher conversion rates.

Improvements to search. We expect eBay to utilize technology and engineering resources obtained through its acquisition of Positronic to roll out improvements to search - building from the current algorithm that ranks recent sales (for fixed price items) and time ending soonest (for auctions) highly; followed by detailed seller ratings (DSRs); buyer satisfaction ratings; item title relevance; and item and shipping costs.

Local Marketplace opportunity. We expect management to allocate additional resources to tap the local e-commerce opportunity, and begin to integrate online classifieds within local Marketplace listings. eBay's classified ad websites operate in more than 20 countries, and we believe could integrate well with the eBay marketplace and PayPal.

Focusing on large sellers/enterprises. Continuing one of eBay's more controversial initiatives from 2008, we expect eBay to continue adding larger enterprise sellers to the platform, benefiting from the early experiences of Buy.com, Smartbargains.com (and others).

Promotions with sellers to increase sales velocity. This year, we expect eBay to continue offering promotional assistance to sellers, including homepage placements, email marketing, coupons, and the popular Daily Deals. We also expect eBay to promote the Live Cash Back program in partnership with Microsoft (currently 8% off), which increases conversion rates for high ASP items, according to our checks.

Sebastian wrote that, "While not necessarily in the first batch of platform changes this year, we also expect eBay to make changes to its pricing policies, provide new tools for sellers to improve service, and reduce the number of customer touch points (lowering customer service expenses)."

Sebastian also highlighted top questions for management at the Analyst Day and discussed eBay's valuation. Note that Lazard Capital Markets LLC makes a market in EBAY securities.





Comments (40) | Permalink

Readers Comments

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Jeff Stannard

Tue Mar 10 09:48:21 2009

The wife emailed me to say she couldn't get on ebay this morning (glitch?).  I'm so tired of this.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: ebay = penny stock

Tue Mar 10 09:52:54 2009

This is just more Ebay spin. Another anchor being thrown out to the stockholders to keep the ship from sinking.

The analyst need to wake up............

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Tue Mar 10 09:58:36 2009

They could save even more money by not just freezing salaries and bonuses, but by simply firing the people whom THEY (the board of directors) hired. Why do they keep these morons in ebay in the first place? Where is Pierre? Is he too busy on ginx to worry about ebay? Mind you, ginx is wonderful, and for someone who is so savvy as a techno specialist, one would think he could have had more say in the ebay "improvements".

Meanwhile I already had my first sale on GoAntiques within the the first week of starting my listings! I finally got over my fears of new places!Now that I feel better about using new sites to list, I started on Bonanzle too. Next stop, Etsy.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: missy

Tue Mar 10 10:05:53 2009

Is eBay down or something? I cannot get on the site either. Ebay is so full of problems lately and so slow-w-w-w!

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Tue Mar 10 10:11:42 2009

Yes, It appears that ebay crashed about 15 minutes ago.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Clay

Tue Mar 10 10:12:48 2009

Focusing on large sellers/enterprises. Continuing one of eBay's more controversial initiatives from 2008, we expect eBay to continue adding larger enterprise sellers to the platform, benefiting from the early experiences of Buy.com, Smartbargains.com (and others).


If they plan on using smartbargains and shoplet as  examples then here is their feedback ratings to go along.

Smartbargains:
1st months rating is:.....
1028 Positives
9 Neutrals
14 Negatives

6th & 12th month ratings are:.....
2558 Positives
25 Neutrals
43 Negatives.....A total of 1996 DSR ratings have been posted which comes to:..1 Negative Feedback for every 46 sales



Shoplet:
1st Month rating is:.....
1150 Positives
14 Neutrals
19 Negatives

6th and 12th Month Ratings are:....
3613 Positives
30 Neutrals
49 Negatives....A total of 2562 DSR ratings have been posted which comes to:....1 Negative for every 52 sales.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Tue Mar 10 10:14:02 2009

It's companies like the one Colin Lizard speaks for, that have driven ebay to where it is now. Ebay corporate executive have to stop listening to that garbage and do what they know is right, and what drove their success in the first place.
Colin, wherever you are, and your Lizard corporation, it's companies like yours that have driven the entire country into   debt and into the stock market fiasco that the whole world is in now.

Go away!! Your company is just another predator on the ailing economy. Power to the people!

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: just asking

Tue Mar 10 10:31:43 2009

If Meg Whitman officially files as a candidate, what are the California laws regarding in-kind contributions?  

If she makes phone calls, has meetings discussing the campaign, or otherwise uses her Ebay office facility to campaign, Ebay and Whitman could be violating California election laws.  

She probably doesn't think laws apply to someone as important as her though.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Patricia

Tue Mar 10 10:33:08 2009

So....Ebay is telling us its full speed ahead over that cliff!!  That's what they're telling us....more of the same dumb changes.  More of a move toward amazonification.  Is the board deaf, dumb and blind?  It sure appears to be so.  Get these idiots off the site and replace them with experienced business people!  

I'll just sit back and keep watching Ebay circling that drain!

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Beth

Tue Mar 10 10:34:04 2009

Well, I am not sure if eBay thinks this will generate a better mental image of them or not. (Note to eBay - it doesn't!)  Simply saying that you'll freeze the exec salaries this year is not a big deal - they are already extremely overpaid, and I'd doubt any of them will have to go without or cut back due to the lack of another 100K...  

From reading this and the other story on the salary freeze, it shows me that the people of CA should be very scared if Meg gets elected to governor. The CYA-legacy continues apparently. No reason for her to change what has worked so well at other corporate fleecings.

So, the ongoing office/sec perks from eBay cost ''only'' about 250K a year?  Only?? Okay - so, only 10 times an average American ANNUAL salary now, so you can have a room and a personal worker when you stop by. Pul-lease.  

I think eBay got totally out of hand during the Meg Years, and there is no easy fix. They've lost focus on anything but the dollar and can't seem to find their way back to reality.

Why does eBay even want to recruit the top execs from other industries?  How does that help?  Why not get someone who understands and knows the online auction industry inside and out, and can focus on the service needs of the users (which would in turn increase business)?  

I keep reading eBay stories, of course, and I still shop there myself, simply because some sellers I like have not chosen another venue yet. However, I no longer have a store there, and never will. They showed me a long time ago what they thought of my small business, and I haven't forgotten it.

Oh, by the way - we are in year two here of no raises at my husband's company. Half the staff has been let go, so we are happy to have a job at all, but yet another year of higher costs all around but no higher income, no bonuses exist at this company and no raises are in the future. But, it beats no job at all, which is so  prevalent now. So, the underemployment we'd hoped was only temporary two yrs ago is still the only thing available, and we have to make do and go without.
That's reality. Not a ''no bonus'' on an already-bloated executive salary.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Beth

Tue Mar 10 10:37:53 2009

You know, I have to also kind of snicker that eBay is trying to hard to emulate other successful online venues, such as Amazon.  

When they had the chance to become the biggest ever online mall, they chose to go the route of the quick buck, pay out enormous golden parachutes and follow people who knew business, but didn't know the customers who USED the business they were trying to run.

Kind of ironic that they are now trying to figure out where they missed the turn in the road by looking at the companies they dismissed as "no competition" during the Whitman regime.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: joe

Tue Mar 10 10:46:03 2009

So they saying customer service is going to get worse than it is now...well that should get ebay's stock price to go up...UNBELIEVEABLE...

"Sebastian wrote that, "While not necessarily in the first batch of platform changes this year, we also expect eBay to make changes to its pricing policies, provide new tools for sellers to improve service, and reduce the number of customer touch points (lowering customer service expenses)."

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Dot

Tue Mar 10 11:01:18 2009

EBay Chief Executive John Donahoe received compensation valued at $22.5 million in 2008, according to a Monday regulatory filing. Poor fella does this mean he can't make more this year(sarcasim).
Dear eBay executives, it isn't the salaries that is causing eBay to tank it is the Chief Executive and all the negative changes he has made.  Stockholders need to get rid of some execs and hire somebody to get the company back to what it once was. What it is now will cause eBay to continue to die a slow death.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Dot

Tue Mar 10 11:05:55 2009

Wonder if taking the site down is a cost saving move.  I wouldn't doubt it, since they have used so little logic on everything else they have done. Take the site down but spare EBay Chief Executive John Donahoe's compensation valued at $22.5.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Allan Kraig

Tue Mar 10 11:13:20 2009

So is JD froze at the 22.5 million he got in compensation for 2008??

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090309/tec_ebay_executive_compen
sation.html?.v=3


Things are rough all over !!!!

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Gailete

Tue Mar 10 11:17:18 2009

Do you think Mrs. Donahoe could use some grocery coupons or advice on stretching the old dollar? I mean if they are going to have to survive on $22.5 MILLION they may have to make cuts somewhere. Just like those of us who used to sell on their site had to make cuts when they and their dastardly deeds made many of us broke or living on WAY less than the over $6000/day that Donohoe 'earns'. I used to be happy to make $60/day on ebay. Now I'm just happy not to be part of those snakes in the grass.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: voodoo

Tue Mar 10 12:25:41 2009

Hey people who can't get on ebay this morning. Call your service provider as Ebay spin is its a internet service provider that is causing the problems.

More Ebay denials.

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Clay

Tue Mar 10 12:30:34 2009

I guess some of the ISP employee's could be X eBay sellers.  

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: And*The*Horses*You*Rode*In*On

Tue Mar 10 14:22:04 2009

HO and NO gotta GO!

NEG MEG 2010

*WINK WINK*

No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements   No Bonus for eBay Execs, Look for April Announcements

by: Trowlin F0r Dollars!

Tue Mar 10 15:15:24 2009

EBay focusing more on large sellers while ignoring small sellers is exactly what got them into the mess they are in.  EBay needs to make it easy for the small seller to sell again so that their paypal accounts are full of money to spend on ebay.  Not all buyers have credit, or qualify for the 'no payment' promotions ebay uses to sell debt.  EBay used to be a way to get out of debt by cleaning your attic and garage.  Overpaid ebay executives are on a path to bury their buyers in so much debt that they are unable to keep buying.  Again, common sense is a rare trait with MBA wannabes in their early 30s.  EBay just doesn't get it.

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