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Wed June 20 2018 17:04:52

eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

By: Ina Steiner

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We posed the following question to readers this week: If eBay CEO elections were held today, who would you vote for? As we noted, the question is entirely hypothetical since CEOs are not elected by customers, but we were curious what readers thought.

We provided a list of options consisting of the current CEO, former CEOs, and founder Pierre Omidyar and let participants write in a candidate if they chose. Of the named eBay current and former leaders, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar received one-third of the "votes," while former CEO Meg Whitman got close to one-quarter.

"Take us back to our roots," wrote one seller who "voted" for Omidyar. Another seller wrote, "Founders don't typically fall for schemes like share buy backs with borrowed money. They have creative idea on how to best invest excess profits that, in the end, create the most shareholder value (see Amazon and Apple before Steve died)."

Some responses from those who voted for Whitman provide hints about what sellers may feel has been missing with later CEOs: attention to small sellers, and communication with users.

"Meg understood and promoted the small seller," wrote one seller. Another said, "She had respect for sellers and often conversed with us regarding site expansion and selling rules before implementing them. I recall one instance where she eliminated an already implemented change due to seller angst."

Current CEO Devin Wenig, who received only 3% of the vote, and his predecessor John Donahoe, who received zero votes, have pushed eBay in a different direction that makes it more like Amazon, with a greater emphasis on brands and less focus on the "community" aspect of eBay.

"Because eBay is not Amazon, should never be Amazon and needs to give up on Wenig's dream to be Amazon," wrote one seller - "Return to its roots with an outsider as CEO who understands selling."

Here are the results of the voting in our informal survey of readers:

Current CEO Devin Wenig: 3%
Former CEO John Donahoe: 0%
Former CEO Meg Whitman: 23%
Founder Pierre Omidyar: 33%
Other: 41%

If not them, then who?
Forty-one percent is a big percentage for "other"! Here are some of the write-in candidates:

Current and former eBay executives:
Hal Lawton (former head of US eBay Marketplaces)
Laura Chambers, eBay SVP
Jeff Jordan (former eBay executive)

Other business leaders:
Donald Trump
Jeff Bezos
Jack Ma
Warren Buffett
Steve Jobs
Elon Musk
Indra Nooyi 
James Sinegal
Marcus Lemonis

Miscellaneous:
Readers also voted for their peers - one wanted a "seasoned eBay seller not tied to Wall Street" while another voted for Martin Adamo (eBay user name: clact). Some EcommerceBytes Blog commenters also got some votes: Ming the Merciless; RK Toys; Marie; Ric; and Rex. And one seller voted for him (or her) self. 

One respondent voted for a "large experienced eBay seller and buyer"; and in explaining why, wrote "Someone who has walked the walk with fraud on both sides."

Rounding up the write-in candidates were: Judge Judith Sheindlin; Herman Cain; "an outsider"; The Tick (fictional superhero); "a monkey"; and "a dead skunk."

What Sellers Are Looking for in a CEO
We also asked readers, "What CEO (of any company) do you most admire, and why?" Some readers provided thoughtful responses to that question, included the following:

"Lee Iacocca. He created the legendary Ford Mustang, left Ford, and helped Chrysler with a US government loan come out of near bankruptcy to turn a profit, and pay back the government loan early. If only all those individuals today could work hard to pay off debt to start saving money."

"Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway). He is one of the few who truly understand economics. He is not one to experiment. He knows what works and what doesn't work."

"Steve Jobs has always been the CEO of two centuries as far as I'm concerned. He had a sixth sense about what would work and what wouldn't. Imagine any other CEO besides Steve order 10 Million iPhones before they had sold one. He commercialized technologies that were languishing in labs (xerox). Most of all, he was the perfect product person. He could go from fine hair detail to big picture in a single sentence and people would act on it."

"No one in particular but whoever has vision and courage and still listens to the workers in the company. One who creates their own following and doesn't try to just be a copycat of someone successful."

"Elon Musk. He may exaggerate and miss deadlines but he does respond to his customers (and with eBay the SELLERS are the customers)"

"Henry Ford because he took a benefit to himself (higher pay, less turnover of good employees) and made it also work for employees (could afford cars). So many CEOs present a zero sum view in their desire to take more for themselves at the expense of others that they will sabotage the business to avoid anybody else benefiting."

"Steve Case the former CEO of AOL. Case was always accessible to his users via a publicly posted email address and even implemented some suggestions offered by his customers. Once Case left AOL, his subsequent replacements focused solely on what would impress Wall Street analysts and subsequently drove the platform into the ground."

"Donald Trump. He has shown how the biggest company in the world can thrive when the CEO cuts the fat and fires the dead weight. eBay needs it desperately before I go under."

"Marc Benioff. He listens to his employees. He's not afraid to spend a little money to make changes. He's not afraid to admit when he's wrong."

From the responses left by sellers, we conclude that they wish to see a leader with the following characteristics: Vision. Listening to customers and employees. Experience in ecommerce. Financial management skills. Independence from Wall Street. Willingness to admit mistakes.

Are you surprised by the results of the survey - and do the results change your mind about the "vote" you cast?



Comments (35) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

by: Carol Is Here This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 18:05:07 2018

My feeling lately is that someone over the age of 60, a seasoned business leader with a strong background in Advertising and marketing, is what is needed as CEO of Ebay.

Current Ebay execs spend money on their outrageous salaries, bonuses and stock options, and NOT on advertising and marketing.

A seasoned CEO is needed who is a real business person who knows retail, who has been in the trenches of retail and come up a winner, who hires top quality people based on their proven track record, who grows Ebay and helps sellers grow their businesses (instead of drain sellers dry, ruin those businesses, and run off with the money.)

Who returns the tech contracts to American companies with American employees instead of offshore screwups who seem cheap but ruin every project they get and cost more in the long run.

Who builds a well trained American based Customer Service Rep team who feels respected and supported themselves (and isn't exploited like the current foreign reps)

Basically, a CEO who does NOT see Ebay and sellers as something to plunder. Who sees her or himself as someone who will only rise with the tide of sellers doing well, and whose compensation is based on that. Someone who earns their keep.

The current executive situation at Ebay is more like organized crime, as one poster puts it. Ebay top brass treats everyone badly except themselves, the ones at the top, and they lie constantly. They are unaccomplished failures who never had business experience or a track record, but are at Ebay to plunder it and put their hands in seller's pockets. While they fail.

I also suspect there are more devious goals they have in mind to enrich themselves on, and that the jabs at Amazon are for show only.  

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

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

Wed Jun 20 18:20:06 2018

It does not matter who the CEO of eBay is There ONLY obligation is to the shareholders not the sellers or the buyers.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

by: Carol Is Here This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 18:27:00 2018

I hope that people understand that Jeff Bezos is simply a puppet. He is just a figurehead promoted by the ones who turned Amazon into a monopoly for their own interests.

Amazon is a Wall Street-created monopoly. Wall Street has used their media and associates to promote it tirelessly and beat it into the public's heads, and also worked with heir partner at Google to artificially push it to the top.The only reason they have been able to get away with selling so cheap in the past is because their cloud income money covered it.

It is all built on China now, and their ability to produce cheaply because they don't have to follow laws related to employment protections and the environment, among other things. A few in China (the dictatorship that is the government) exploits the majority of the population. It is government people who own many of these suppliers, and get deals like not having to pay taxes. It is a kind of slavery you don't hear about much anymore in the American media because Wall Street is the Middleman and it funnels out Amazon.

Wall Street doesn't want anyone looking too hard at their Chinese partners.

It is a scheme that only is destroying American small and medium businesses, local businesses, minority businesses, and preventing the majority of the American public from getting a piece of the retail action. Americans get what they are told and allowed to get.

it always shocks me to hear people who tout "buy local" or "support small businesses" who then talk about buying on Amazon. They are helping Wall Street annihilate small and local businesses.

The goal is control over the public-
control what they buy, who benefits, who profits, what they pay, control supply and demand so Wall Street always gets the biggest cut and controls influencing the government.

It is what Wall Street does, to the point of starting wars with their in-pocket legislators to do it for them, to move into other country's economies and control their people.

They even gave Bezos a "media" outlet. Talk about conflict of interest?

At some point people will realize that they made a bad mistake supporting this monopoly. But I am afraid it will be too late then.

Wall Street hates small and medium business. They don't want any competition for their interests and control, which is total control. The US now serves Wall Street.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 18:28:51 2018

Whoever runs ebay should acknowledge that ebay is a digital catalog...NOTHING ELSE.
If I go to my dresser/ clothes catalog, and look in my sock drawer, I expect to see...SOX.
If I search for sox on ebay, I don't expect an aplaca blanket to be in the results.
K.I.S.S., ebay...
You're not cool, hip, or even relevant.
You're a digital catalog...act like one.
You're in 3rd place...you will stay in 3rd place.
Be the best 3rd place entity you can be, because that's ALL you can be.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jun 20 19:16:28 2018

I'm not surprised that "Other" won. I am surprised that Devin got 3% of the vote as the policies he's enacted seem worse than what JD initiated. I imagine that one of eBay's minions who read this blog will inform him of the results, and his response will be, "They like me! They really, really like me!"

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster

Wed Jun 20 19:41:36 2018

After further reflection I'd like to correct my hypothetical vote.

I believe Elizabeth Holmes (former CEO of Theranos) is the only CEO contender truly worthy of continuing the legacy of the John Donaho and Devin Wenig era of eBay chief executive leadership and doing it justice, while also bringing a female CEO back to eBay.

I have it on good authority Elizabeth can start immediately. Thus, Devin can stop spending a fortune flying the eBay corporate jet back and forth from coast to coast every week so he can frolic in his luxe mansion in the Hamptons over the weekends.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 21:01:53 2018

Surprising to me is that Pierre and the other former eBay people got any votes at all.  

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 22:44:29 2018

I voted for the dead skunk - no surprise there.

The lure of easy money aka stealing from sellers is too strong for any of these people to withstand.

If you hire anyone - its someone out of this business - ie auto, furniture, medicine or the dead skunk.

The dead skunk, as bad as it smells is more honest then any eBay employee. It can pass a polygraph, while most eBay employees cant, it can also NOT steal from sellers, and treat all sellers the same.

So it doesnt speak or do anything - BFD - Griff doesnt either.

It doesnt need a jet plane, a fancy house, stock options OR voting rights.

Dead skunk it is.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Jun 20 23:28:56 2018

I was surprised that Dummy Weiner got 3% too.  Not surprised that Pierre got alot of votes though.  People still associate him with the good old days.  Although there's a very high chance he would turn out to be another screwup if he came back.

Steve Jobs was a good call too.  Apple is lost without him.

Technically, two people voted for themselves.  I think if eBay is going to parade around as a technology company, they need somebody with software development skills.  Nobody is more qualified to do that job than I am.  It is tiresome dealing with CIOs and CTOs that don't know anything and let H1Bs screw everything up over and over and over.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jun 21 02:40:58 2018

OMG someone actually said me?!?!?  I don't know if I should be touched or whomever voted for me is touched??  LOL

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jun 21 06:32:45 2018

"Donald Trump. He has shown how the biggest company in the world can thrive when the CEO cuts the fat and fires the dead weight. eBay needs it desperately before I go under."

That one has me perplexed.  Cut the fat? Under Trump's watch, the national debt topped $21 trillion for first time ever .  Judicial Watch calculates his travel costs (since June of 2017), and much of it personal to be $13,533,937.28.   One trip to Trump's Bedminster golf club cost $15,994 per hour.   Go look at what it costs for security at Trump Tower.  Last I checked it was $127-$146K per day.

Anyone looked at his cabinet members' spends lately?  Anyone looked at the law suits aimed at him, his family, his foundation? (I want even talk about the harassment claims--yep, that would go over really well in corporate.)

I'd vote for the dead skunk first.  I don't want anyone to end up in a cage at the border. Autocracy and dictatorships don't work for me. Nor does malignant narcissism.   And I am sure that Uday and Qusay and Ivanka would be part of the reign of terror.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jun 21 06:33:43 2018

...and that was I "won't" even talk about the harassment claims.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Thu Jun 21 08:09:33 2018

I missed the voting. Surprised Jack Ma wasn't a write in.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jun 21 08:31:04 2018

@VV - He was. His name is third under "Other Business Leaders" who were write-ins.

I voted for Ming as his posts are always insightful and intelligent, and I think he'd have the ability to resurrect the site.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jun 21 08:55:58 2018

I'd vote for Ming and Ric to co-lead with iheartjacksparrow and Pace to be advisors.

As someone stated, they really need someone who has been down in the trenches as it relates to selling.  Someone kissing Wall Streets boots just won't do.  Someone who thinks that the buyer is ALWAYS right won't do either.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 21 09:11:56 2018

I honestly hate the wall street model. Its such a bad way to do things.

Im suprised noone voted for ecommercebytes



Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 21 09:53:45 2018

Rexford ... re suits against Trump ... right after the ones filed against Bill for rape? OR maybe against Hillary for misappropriation of government secrets with her server in the bathroom closet? or the bad acting on Comeys part, or even Obamas hi jinks with Iran to protect their nuclear secrets?

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 21 10:42:39 2018


I'm surprised that no one voted for The Grifter!

also surprising that former and current fleecebay crooks got votes.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

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

Thu Jun 21 10:51:55 2018

Unfortunately, I was unable to submit my vote as I got an error message, and then the next time I tried, the voting was closed.  However, I would have picked Meg Whitman.  eBay wasn't perfect when she was in charge, but it was FAR better than the downward spiral it's been in ever since.  As an added bonus, it would keep her out of politics (I don't agree with her politics).  As a side note, I find it ironic that at least one person wrote in Steve Jobs.  A dead guy could run a company better than Wenig?  Yeah, probably.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'   eBay CEO Election Results: Sellers Select 'Other'

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jun 21 11:37:39 2018

pace, no one nominated Bill, or Hillary, or Obama to lead eBay.  I am only speaking in regards to Trump due to the fact that he was nominated.

I have the utmost respect for you, but please, don't use the usual "blame Hillary", "blame Obama" BS that has become the "go to" when someone holds Trump accountable.

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