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Fri Mar 19 2010 15:08:36

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay released information about executive compensation in an SEC filing on Friday, publishing the salaries of CEO John Donahoe, PayPal President Scott Thompson, President of eBay Marketplaces Lorrie Norrington, CFO Bob Swan and Senior VP of Technology Mark Carges. While they all earned more in salaries, their total compensation declined in 2009 - except for Scott Thompson.



In addition to salary, bonuses, stock awards options and incentives, perks for all or some of the executives included:
  • Personal airplane usage (John Donahoe and Bob Swan);
  • Home security (Lorrie Norrington - $24,773);
  • Information technology support services for home computers;
  • Matching 401(k) contributions;
  • Group life insurance premiums;
  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage;
  • Retention plan (John Donahoe and Bob Swan)
Last year, eBay's Board of Directors found the company under-performed in 2008 and awarded no non-equity Incentive Plan bonuses to top executives. This year, however, the Board awarded Mr. Donahoe $1.57 million, 58% higher than what he received in 2007.

eBay will report first quarter earnings on April 21st, and it will hold its annual shareholders meeting on April 29, 2010, at 8:00 am Pacific time in San Jose.




Comments (34) | Permalink

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eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Fri Mar 19 15:19:50 2010

Gee, how come Scott Thompson missed out on getting his nose in the trough in 2008?

But, isn't it nice to see all the other incompetent's remunerations effectively halved in 2009. Should halve again for 2010.

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: RicRoe This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 19 15:29:05 2010

John Donahoes 3 year eBay marketplace makeover failed buyers, sellers and eBay.

His entire management team can be credited with alienating thousands of sellers as well as making it harder for buyers to find what they are looking for.

In the middle of a deep recession, Donahoe has forced eBay into being more of a retailer of new goods than a source of in demand second hand goods.

If eBay had not been pushed into being more like Amazon, their marketplace would be stocked with merchandise at great prices by sellers looking to turn over unwanted/unneeded goods at great prices. Buyers would have flocked to eBay seeking bargains an slightly used goods in order to off set the impact of the recession on their wallets.

There was plenty of room for both new and used goods on eBay, however, Mr Donahoe chose to eradicate the “flea market” image.

In so doing, he alienated a significant base of customers, both buyers and sellers, and destroyed eBay’s once broad market appeal.

In truth, at even the reduced compensation, Mr Donahoe is an incompetent overpaid suit who demonstrates little or no understanding of how to best position the eBay marketplace and appeal to a wide consumer base.

Instead of cutting his compensation, the eBay Board should have cut their losses and terminated Mr Donahoe for the permanent damage his failed vision inflicted on eBay’s business and reputation.

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: goldilocks This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 19 15:53:26 2010

Correct me if I'm wrong but in looking over the table of numbers above, the only area I see where the compensation numbers went down (substantially) is in the Stocks and Options columns - again, except for Mr. Thompson.  If I were an eBay exec, knowing what I know about the actual health (or lack thereof) of the company, I would much rather see those numbers reduced (since their value, being volatile, would also be more likely to drop even further) and get more in hard-cash valued compensations.  Which it appears they did.  

I'm guessing the Stocks & Options awarded to Mr. Thompson would have been Paypal stocks, which I'm sure is (so far) continuing to hold its value and even increase, as compared to the now virtually-worthless eBay stock.

I seriously doubt these folks are feeling all that much of a ''hit'' financially.

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: Et tu, Brute! This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 19 17:41:34 2010




They should be rewarding the executive darlings exclusively in ebay stock!  

Bet that would change the song and dance!

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Mar 19 17:47:11 2010

Indeed, “cash” is the most important consideration, even more so for such listed public companies, where the executive management (and board) will be trying to strip off as much as they can for themselves. If the stockholders are lucky there might be a bit left over for them: by the way, when is eBay going to pay a dividend to stockholders?

@ goldilocks, My understanding is that PayPal is wholly owned by eBay so Thompson’s stock awards will comprise eBay stock; he’d be smart to sell it all before 21 April.

Also, why only Norrington for “home security”; I would have thought that they all would need armed security guards by now.

I can understand the coverage for “death and dismemberment”; but is it at all likely to be “accidental”?

“Retention plan (John Donahoe and Bob Swan).” Now there is classic eBay logic: cull all staff except for the two greatest of all incompetents …

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: AlG

Fri Mar 19 17:47:48 2010

Oh well. I guess my paltry $300-600/month "contribution" to the eBay top management "Orphans & Welfare Fund [and let's run for the Governator]" does not even come close to a blip on their radar.

Sorry, I am now taking a prescribed pill - everything is just peachy now.

What plain of existence do these Board of Directors live in???

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: Rich

Fri Mar 19 19:16:48 2010

Are you kidding?  They took a hit?  5 people who are helping to destroy Ebay; combined to take $25 Million and your title says their "pocketbooks takes a hit in 2009".  As the middle class crumbles; a handful of elites rob all the wealth and you call this "taking a hit".  I'd title the article "the discgusting theft of hardworking sellers"

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 19 19:55:32 2010

I'd be much more interested in the pocketbooks of the people who were forced to leave eBay due to terrible sales and egregious, draconian terms and conditions. How much money did they lose?

I have no sympathy for these executives. They are still way over compensated for what they are. Frankly, the whole lot should be terminated by the stockholders. And the BOD right along with them.

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

This user has validated their user name. by: Doc
Web Site

Fri Mar 19 19:57:28 2010

WOW.. Dumbahoe is way overpaid..

All he is doing is making Meg look like a saint as she adds her buy now button to California's voting machines!

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: USE eBay

Sat Mar 20 00:09:46 2010

Taking a look at JD's 2009 numbers YOY, I would say JD had a crappy year last year.  I hope that it's okay to say that, cause that's what it was.  Yes, we're talking millions, but if you take the actual numbers out of it, he made less than half of what he made the year before.  That's called FAILURE to me. He probably has something written into his contract with eBay that gives him 12 to 18 months salary and some stock options if they ever decide to let him go, so it's not going to be any quick decision on the board's part, but they certainly sent him a HUGE message!  This year he's getting bumped up again, and I believe this is solely for the heady Paypal successes, which were basically not his, but the Paypal executive's. JD is just basking in the reflection of it.

People who run big companies make millions.  It's nothing new.  They also provide thousands of jobs for America's workforce, so, you know, it is what it is.

Somewhere and sometime there will be a payback for what JD managed to do to thousands of successful businessmen and women who had mastered eBay to the point of making anywhere from a monthly car payment to a fabulous income on it, solely from their own entreprenureal skills, and amazing fortitude and persistence in an oppressive, unpredictable system. Is it too much to ask that they get treated more equitably in the face of all of these millions floating around in the report.  

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: Jennifer

Sat Mar 20 04:26:40 2010

Wow, Ina, how did you ever get that info? Is it public record? Whatever, good for you - as always a good job ferreting out the stories that you do. You really have my admiration.

I still blame this whole mess on Meg Whitman. I live in California & the political ads she is running are beyond the pale. All of us that are using ebay or have in the past sure contributed to her off-shore financial accounts. I won't even get into her apparent memory losses about her (lack of) voting record & where she has lived - just mention it in passing. Of course, this story is really not about her, but Meg put Donahue in place, so she is a major factor, imo.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Donahue & friends took a page out of her billionaire playbook & are doing the same with hidden money. So he didn't make as much last year - he and the others sure made more than the average as far as I'm concerned. I wonder what the worker bees make at ebay - the assistants, clerks, etc. Now THAT would be interesting for sure.

I'm not able to leave in our current housing mess in my county, although it is slightly improving in addition to health issues - besides I love California & our country too much - but I would be tempted to take a page from Limbaugh's own strange statement that he would leave the country (if healthcare passes) if she should sadly pull an Ahnold & actually win.

Of course, Rush chose Costa Rica, which has the oldest & one of the best healthcare systems in the western hemisphere. I say send them ALL to Haiti (including Rush, please) & see how the other half lives.

They all disgust me; to think how many years I worked my tail off to contribute to this insanity is sickening.

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Sat Mar 20 05:19:22 2010

Have any eBay sellers taken a financial loss?

Perhaps the kool-aid drinkers in Atlanta will pass the hat and take up a collection for poor ol' JD.

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 20 13:07:48 2010

I've been elated since this news came out yesterday in WSJ and Marketwatch.  I appreciate Ina printing it here so we can all comment.  I'll just paste in my Marketwatch comment:

"Hey Johnny boy! You know my greatest dream is to see you on the unemployment line...that same line where thousands of former small Ebay sellers now stand. Hey...its only fair! You destroyed them with your "disruptive innovation" now YOU should suffer the same fate!!!! I'm loving this...its not entirely what I wanted, but its a start! You're a FAILURE - AN UTTER FAILURE! Sad part is you took thousands of good small sellers down in order for everyone to see your management for what it is."

If you remember - the BOD froze Ebay management's pay last year.  Maybe the writing was on the wall and we just didn't see it?

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 20 14:01:13 2010

Hopefully....the BOD has finally realized what revenue has been LOST in the past 2 1/2 years due to Donahoe's disruptive innovation.  Funny thing about that disruptive innovation - works well on paper or in video games but not in real life!  Hope they are waking up.  I'm also hoping they gave Donahoe his walking papers already but he has a year or 6 months to find something else.  In the huge conglomerate I worked in that is how it was with high executives and they would have let top executives go long before this.  Donahoe is long overdue.

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: Digby
Web Site

Sat Mar 20 14:37:24 2010

As I read it JD salary went up a bit (10%), but his share options were half of last years.

I can't wait till April 21st - 1st Quarter results !

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 20 15:14:57 2010

@Digby - yeah but his total compensation package is now lower then in 2007 - before he took over as CEO.

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: ebay nonsense

Sat Mar 20 17:08:09 2010

Amazing that they paid him 45 million over 3 years to basically destroy what it took over a decade to build up.
Not only the site but they ruined the lives of countless thousands of sellers who built their lives around their ebay business.

This has been typical of corporate america. The banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies.  Let's see how much we can squeeze out of them and fatten our portfolio's while we're doing it.  
Shame on them all!

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: USE eBay

Sat Mar 20 17:48:26 2010

This is very Pollyanna-ish and I don't mean to diminish what JD did to eBay sellers large and small.

Visualize yourself a year ago in the Spring, selling on eBay and wondering WHY your sales were so slow.  It's the economy, it's not the economy, its the big stores coming in, its that darn John Donohoe, whatever.  

Now, look at yourself this first day of Spring.  Most likely, all of your eggs are NO LONGER in the eBay basket as they were last year at this time.  You have joined 3 or 4 or 5 other selling sites and started to have sales back last Fall.  You have either begun or plan to begin your own website.  You now see there is life after eBay.

Now look ahead to next spring:  You've left eBay totally or have taken my advice to USE eBay. Ebay is now just another selling site and not the whole enchilada.  It's still a successful selling site but you have maybe only 30 to 50% of your eggs in the eBay basket.  (Mmmmm, enchiladas and eggs, that sounds good.) You're so much wiser about eBay and its tricks.  The eBay spell on you has been broken, and you're seeing great success on the other selling sites.  

And all was good in the land.

Yes, I guess it is Pollyanna-ish, but is that so bad?

USE eBay!

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: hmmm

Sat Mar 20 18:26:50 2010

all I can say is that I wish someone would pay me 45 million dollars to be a moron for 3 years.

eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009   eBay Executive Pocketbooks Take a Hit in 2009

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 20 19:45:42 2010

I often wonder about this--

Meg left, JD took over and immediately started radically changing things saying eBay wouldn't survive if he didn't.

The implication, to me anyway, is that he thought Meg seriously mismanaged eBay causing its potential demise, and now that he has come along on his big white charger, he would save eBay from utter destruction.

It surely doesn't sound like he thought old Meg did a very good job. I find this pretty funny since she hand picked this man to lead on after she left. Seems like he has been slapping her silly upside the head for 3 years.

Of course, we all know that he really hasn't done any kind of good job either.

Maybe Pierre should come back :)  :) LOL

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