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Thu May 7 2009 13:05:07

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

By: Ina Steiner

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How do outsiders view Meg Whitman's performance at eBay? And how important is it to her campaign as she runs for governor of California? The Capitol Weekly gives some insight into those questions in an article published today.

First, should voters look to eBay in measuring Whitman's competence? Author Garry South says, "when association with one major company is the prime credential on which you are seeking to become governor, that entity and your stewardship of it legitimately will come under intense, microscopic scrutiny."

So which issues did he think were relevant? Whitman's $2.6 Billion mistake has already become a campaign issue, so it's no surprise that tops his list, and he also believes eBay's stock decline is relevant.

But wait, there's more. "While Whitman was CEO, the company also came under heavy fire for forgeries and stolen items, dishonest sellers and inaccurately described merchandise." (The issue of fakes on eBay made big news yet again this week with headlines such as, "eBay Saves Historic Treasures By Selling Fakes. One AuctionBytes reader called it a "back-handed compliment.")

South goes on to say, "In addition, criticism was leveled at the Whitman-era eBay for generating revenue growth by ever-increasing fees on sellers, which was an unsustainable, self-defeating strategy."

Given that one of Whitman's biggest campaign promise is job creation, and her biggest boast about her time at eBay is - Job Creation - then it would seem the plight of sellers under her reign deserves the "intense, microscopic scrutiny" that South mentions.

In fact, the other big campaign promise Whitman makes is that she will reduce government spending. It may be difficult to use eBay as an example of where she's cut spending while lowering "taxes" (i.e., fees). After all, one might ask, where did that $2.6 billion come from that she used to buy Skype?

It will be interesting to see if California media will scrutinize what industry insiders call "eBay math" as Whitman continues to tout her record of job creation. Maybe they can make sense of the "number of registered users" and "number of sellers making a living on eBay" statistics.





Comments (39) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: ebay=penny stock

Thu May 7 13:27:38 2009

Don't forget her replacement. The famous DonnaHole.

I'd be willing to bet she drops out of the race with some fabricated excuse.

The noise is going to only get louder now.

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: Ari

Thu May 7 14:26:47 2009

Let's not forget Whitman was also the CEO for one of the internets biggest pornography merchants....would love to see the sales/user metrics for the Adults Only catagory in the Everything Else section on ebay which has always sold Hardcore XXX porn. Believe me, it's alot of money!

Some California voters might find it interesting that much of Whitman and eBays fortune was built selling porn.

Family values!

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: Neville Golding

Thu May 7 15:32:39 2009

"criticism was leveled at the Whitman-era eBay for generating revenue growth by ever-increasing fees on sellers, which was an unsustainable, self-defeating strategy."

That sounds very similar to our current Democrat President's strategy...hmm Maybe Meg's a Dem. after all.

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: Patricia

Thu May 7 15:59:18 2009

Of course Whitman's years at Ebay will come under scrutiny.  Whenever one applies for a new position their past experience is examined.  Whitman can't make it on looks alone (that was a funny).

If the Skype fiasco and the unscrupulous fee hikes year after year only to throw the money down the dry well that is China doesn't get to you then I don't know what will.  We've had two terms of ''Ahnold'' and he's doubled the government, raised taxes and almost brought us to bankruptcy!  As if we haven't suffered enough now along comes Whitman?  That's entirely too much to ask of any state even one the size of California!

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: JoeS

Thu May 7 17:10:09 2009

South goes on to say, ''In addition, criticism was leveled at the Whitman-era eBay for generating revenue growth by ever-increasing fees on sellers, which was an unsustainable, self-defeating strategy.''

I was saying this 3 years ago in other places. Whitman, followed by Donahoe, beat up the sellers with fees and anti-seller policies in order to show growth for investors. That was the easy way out by putting all the burden on the sellers. This strategy has had negative consequences that we are witnessing now.

It's simple supply and demand, the higher the fees, the less demand for the product/service. Everytime Meg or JD raised fees, the less the sellers used the service. The facts and numbers are starting to bear this out (and no, it's not necessarily the economy like Ebay management wants everyone to believe).

The author is right, this strategy is self-defeating and non-sustainable. Throw in the anti-seller policies and you have a recipe for disaster.

Both Whitman and Donahoe, are responsible for the mess at Ebay now. What's worse is the spin coming from management the last couple of years is it's the sellers fault for the problems at Ebay and they must be punished. The negative results for those actions, we are seeing now, speak for themselves. I personally don't believe things will get better until a whole new management/BOD is in place. They may run it into the ground before that ever happens though if they continue down this self-defeating path. I'm glad I phased Ebay out long ago.

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: Henrietta

Thu May 7 17:17:23 2009

Job creation! How many customer service pinks got laid off in San Jose? Some of whom had more seniority than Meg.

The service provider that has no service and fired all its customer service providers is not a good augury for California under Governor Meg.



I guess the 700 who got laid off in Vancouver don't count because they are not in the USA

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: Fruity

Thu May 7 17:30:03 2009

Maybe they should look into just how greedy she was regarding the 9/11 auction for America

http://news.cnet.com/eBays-charity-auction-upsets-some-
sellers/2100-1017_3-273153.html


Yup,
she wants to talk about small business and job creation, but what people dont recognize is that the policies that are set up directly put more burdens on the smaller sellers. You know, those who make up the bulk of the merchants here. They do that because Meg Whitman created the biggest Sweat Shop. Kathie Lee has nothing on Meg

I'm sure we can all come up with lists to blanket the State of California with what that woman put in place and put into motion. DSRs were on her watch, you can implement something so paradigm shifting as that without planning well 18 months prior to deployment. How about China our #1 priority where we subsidized their free listings was her watch.

How about some anti-competitive acts
Or maybe the Goldman Sachs fiasco

Those number of sellers making all or most of their living from ebay? Well ask Meg why it dropped 300,000. From 1.3M to 1million.

Ask her about poorly priced, multiple quantity items that were diluted the buying experience .. where you kicked the store sellers into auction core in the summer of 2006. It wasn't store sellers that were the problem. It was search results where all buyers saw was 5 pages deep of the same pair of Ugg BOOTS

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: RicRoe

Thu May 7 18:39:18 2009

So Whitman created jobs at eBay....it was not long after her departure that many of those workers started receiving pink slips.

While eBay struggles and continues to hang on, it is obvious that many of the layoffs at eBay were non essential employees.

Whitman wants to run on creating non essential jobs?

Sounds like every other policitican to me.

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: Patricia

Thu May 7 18:48:45 2009

@Fruity - I well remember the Auctions for American stint Whitman pulled.  She beat her chest and bragged that Ebay would make a million dollars a day to help New York!  It was maddness and, of course, it hit sellers right in their holiday season.  In the end they didn't make near what they said they would.  I think the total was like 8 million - give or take a million because we all know how expert Ebay is with numbers.  They kept the total pretty quiet....they destroyed the holiday season and they probably lost their shirt too!  Patriotic people were dredging junk from their basements and selling it for big bucks!

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: Harriet

Thu May 7 19:01:51 2009

It would be hard to cite job creation. There have been several layoffs at eBay, over the past year or two, some publicized a lot, and some not.

Combine that with the almost forced exodus of small sellers, and you have a not so glowing picture of "job creation".

Yes, she is no longer CEO at eBay, however, this was all planned during her reign and merely executed by Mr. Donahue.

They are two peas in a pod.

There is a lot for California to be worried about with her.

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: YES123

Thu May 7 19:53:09 2009

Megs replacement invoked a policy change that no paper payments were to be in auction descriptions !!
THESE TWO AUCTIONS HAVE BEEN RUNNING ALL WEEK WITH CASHIER CHECK MENTIONED IN THE AUCTION DESCRIPTION--150343504015--150343506070
Dear ebay--If you are going to make a policy you should enforce it~~~~~~

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: Jake

Thu May 7 20:57:37 2009

I guess the 700 who got laid off in Vancouver don't count because they are not in the USA

...most of these lost jobs have been re-located to the Phillipines ????

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: voodoo

Thu May 7 21:22:11 2009

Well if they moved those 700 jobs from canada to the phillipines then we should have no reason not to understand them.

Providing we can speak phillipineses or whatever they speak down there as it sure isn't English.

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

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

Thu May 7 21:23:27 2009

Interesting that yet another blogger missed the Skype patent fiasco that occurred during Neg Meg's imperial reign.

What rational investor would buy Skype stock when the engine that makes it run doesn't belong to ebafia, isn't theirs to sell, and the men (The Skype inventors) who do own this critical patent have told ebafia to stop using it.

Why is the business media and the blogosphere ignoring this blockbuster story?

DEATH to ebay corp. in 2009.
NEG MEG WHITMAN in 2010.

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: Daisy

Thu May 7 21:48:18 2009

Don't forget Ebay moving $3 or $4 billion to an off shore account to avoid paying American taxes.

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

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

Thu May 7 22:33:48 2009

@ voodoo

They speak a language called Tagalog in the Philippines.

===============

Maneuvering both domestic and international profits into offshore banks through a series of dummy corporations is the norm rather than the exception today for so called 'American' businesses.

When all is said and done, parasitic corporations who use these perfectly legal schemes end up paying about 16% of their cooked books 'profits' to Uncle Sam while most middle class taxpayers are taxed at a rate of 25%.

The corporate tax rate is supposed to be 35%, but these unpatriotic and unfair tax avoidance strategies are why the American middle class is subsidizing large corporations who haven't asked for bailouts.

THIS MUST CHANGE.

As I recall -- and I might be wrong -- another aspect of NEG MEG's self-serving September 11 fundraiser was that the buyer was FORCED to pay with NEG MEG'S fiasco payment service, BillPoint.

BillPoint was among the first of NEG MEG's visible poor decisions. She tried to squeeze too much out of the sellers and offered little or no value in return (just like ebafia is now), sellers rebelled, and stopped accepting BillPoint.

So ebafia did one of the few things it does very well. In the absence of in house competency, they swallow (or like MercExchange case steal via patent infrigement) up platforms that do work well and proceed and to screw them up as well.

While PayPal is a Wall Street favorite, PayPal offers less and less value for its retail and seller customers with every policy change.

Mega greedy ebafia just can't seem to learn that the supply of geese and golden eggs is finite and getting smaller every day as ebafia becomes more hostile toward sellers.

DEATH to ebay corp. in 2009.
NEG MEG WHITMAN in 2010.

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

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

Thu May 7 23:29:24 2009

I suppose these latest "captured efficiencies" (700 Canadians fired) will bumpy enafia's stock up a little tomorrow as Wall Street loves to see rank and fie corporate employees fired.

The efficiencies that should be captured are The Don Horleone and his accomplice in crime, The No, ebafia's most notorious non paying buyer.

Today's Wall Street is completely out of control and doesn't understand that each job loss harms individuals, their families, and national economies.

People who are employed spend and save more than the unemployed -- a fact that seems to escape the Wall Street Greed Machine.

WALL STREET & ITS SYNCOPHANTIC BUSINESS MEDIA MUST BE REFORMED.

Death to ebafia in 2009.



Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: swift one

Fri May 8 00:03:04 2009

Guess as a registered Republican, if we are all unfortunate to have her as a choice, I will be switching parties for sure!

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: angryjim

Fri May 8 00:27:01 2009

Whitman probably thinks she is owed the job of governor.  Probably resents the fact she has to run in an election for the office and has to earn the votes of all the little people to succeed.

Resume wise, she has very little to offer in the way of the relevant skills and knowledge needed for this position.  All around a very poor choice for such a high public office.  Makes Bush II look like a statesman.

California deserves far better.

Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay   Meg Whitman to Draw Intense Media Scrutiny to eBay

by: ebay seller

Fri May 8 00:33:43 2009

I only hope that if by some miracle Meg is elected governor she finds a cushy job for John Donahoe on her staff.

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