Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat May 23 2020 16:16:30

Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

By: Ina Steiner

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Former eBay CEO Devin Wenig walked away with a $57 million package last year, according to a company filing with the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission). Of that, $780,769 was salary and $40 million was classified as "other compensation."

Wenig left the company abruptly on September 24 under ambiguous circumstances. At the time, eBay Chairman of the Board Thomas Tierney cited "a number of considerations," and Wenig said in a Tweet he was "not on the same page" as the Board. (Tierney himself will be stepping down from the eBay Board in June where he's served as Director since 2003 and Chairman since 2015.)

Whatever the circumstances of Wenig's departure, the May 20, 2020, filing shows the eBay Board considered his exit as "termination without cause" when evaluating the terms of his 2014 letter agreement with the company, sometimes referred to as Golden Parachute provisions. The terms are spelled out in the filing:

"The Letter Agreement payments include: (i) two times his annual base salary which equals $2,000,000; (ii) two times his annual target bonus amount which equals $4,000,000; (iii) a prorated portion of the bonus under the eBay Incentive Plan (“eIP”) that Mr. Wenig otherwise would have earned and been paid (using his accrued eligible compensation under the eIP through the last day of employment) for the 2019 fiscal year under the eIP which equals $1,819,192 (which is reflected in the “Non-Equity Plan Compensation” column of the Summary Compensation Table); (iv) the amount of $5,849,674, which is the dollar value of outstanding and unvested RSU awards that were treated as vested under the Letter Agreement; (v) the amount of $27,357,280, which is the dollar value of outstanding and unvested PBRSU Awards that were treated as vested under the Letter Agreement; and (vi) the amount of $545,288, which is the dollar value of dividend equivalents associated with the equity awards that were treated as vested under the Letter Agreement."

The report broke out the following expenses that were part of Wenig's compensation in 2019:

- In-home security expenses: $4,260

- Secured chauffeured transportation: $26,303 

- Personal airplane usage: $230,904 

The same filing shows eBay's CEO Pay ratio, which we report each year. The median annual total compensation for eBay employees in 2019 was $130,636. The board chose to exclude Wenig's compensation and chose not to annualize the higher compensation Schenkel received during his role as Interim CEO. Instead it used Schenkel's actual total compensation for the year of $17,647,255 - including his nearly 9 months as Chief Financial Officer.

The ratio of the Schenkel's annual total compensation to the median employee's annual total compensation is 135 to 1. For 2018, the eBay CEO Pay Ratio had been 152.

Given the information provided in the report, we calculated that Devin Wenig received in compensation 438 times the median employee's annual total compensation in 2019.

It's also interesting to note that the median annual total compensation for eBay employees was 9.26% higher in 2019 - $130,636, compared to $119,562 in 2018.

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Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon May 25 03:05:10 2020

@Moonwishes

eBay started paying a dividend March 2019 to all shareholders

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 25 05:23:07 2020

and the sellers will continue to get s**t on and shoved in it. that's how the corrupt at ebay works.

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 25 06:10:07 2020

$40mill in other compensation?  Anybody got a guess what that is?  $700K in salary isn't a lot, but that $40 mill is a whole lot!

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 25 06:12:12 2020

@just change: get 40 million dollars on the way out - He didn't get $40mill $$ on the way out.  It's "other compensation", whatever that means.

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 25 06:36:58 2020

Are CEOs really worth this kind of money, or are they simply taking as much as they'll get? And really, taking a chunk like that as they leave--of what future benefit to the company is that?

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: topdog This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 25 08:22:09 2020

And they wonder why people hate CEOs even more than lawyers and politicians?  

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon May 25 10:27:12 2020

@topdog

I don't hate CEO's!

In fact a good family friend was CEO of Baker/Hughes

He had over 70,000 employees at one time, he even hired me back in the early 80's and wanted to put me thru Texas A&M and groom me for upper management (life didn't go in that direction sad to say)

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 25 12:11:52 2020

WOW! Who'da thought that you could trash a company really bad and walk away with that kind of golden parachute! I am shocked!! I guess this is why OUR fees keep going up????

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 25 17:14:12 2020

- In-home security expenses: $4,260

- Secured chauffeured transportation: $26,303

- Personal airplane usage: $230,904


The mafia Don gets golden glove treatment (drive your own d@mn car), all while sellers get abused on his platform.

People speak badly about Al Capone and Lucky Luchiano ... they ain’t got nothing on eBay !

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

This user has validated their user name. by: unsuck

Mon May 25 17:18:47 2020

"Wenig left the company abruptly on September 24 under ambiguous circumstances."

Sure Wenig may have bumped heads with Elliott and Starboard, but here's a couple interesting facts related to the *timing* of Wenig's ouster some may not have been aware of (and sadly, no-one read about it in any mass media like WSJ, Barron's, Forbes, etc):

Wenig's termination was effective Tuesday September 24th.

The previous Friday  (September 20th), eBay sellers experienced *significant* tech issues since early in the morning including the inability to print labels, inability to upload images, and inability to message buyers on the platform. The 1st report we saw was a user at 7:15am EST reporting they weren't able to upload photos and it snowballed from there. The magnitude of the complaints volume on social media was extraordinary.
👉 https://bit.ly/3eiPDBX

Definitely not a good look for eBay, or particularly for Wenig who told the audience at eBay open a year earlier that eBay's chronic tech glitches "pissed him off" and were "unacceptable".

Two business days prior to his termination, shortly after noon EST Friday Wenig (apparently indifferent and completely oblivious to the crisis his seller-customers were having), decides to take a pot-shot at Jeff Bezos Tweeting, "Now where have I seen that before? Hmm..." with a pic of Bezos' face in a Business Insider article about Amazon's 3P sellers.
👉 https://bit.ly/2Xx6LNL

Shortly before 3pm EST Friday, ECB posted a blog post titled "Sellers Struggle as Technical Issues Plague eBay Today" and reported "sellers began reporting various issues on the Ecommerce EKG board before 9 am EST."
👉 https://bit.ly/2XusNRa

After ECB’s blog post was published, we repeatedly Tweeted and emailed along with some "color commentary" to dozens of journalists, retail and ecom analysts, current and former eBay employees, EBAY sell-side analysts, Amazon execs, and a couple EBAY board members.

Now perhaps eBay's CEO doesn't need to be directly involved with every tech hiccup that happens on the platform (Wenig, as CEO seemed to view himself above that sort of thing and had 'the help' to deal with those matters), but Wenig's smug public dig at Bezos while millions of his sellers weren't able to function was particularly tone-deaf (again, especially considering his response about tech issues at eBay Open).

There was little doubt Wenig had not a clue what was going on, and even if he did, Wenig had just stepped in it by choosing to take a dig at Bezos instead of assuring his customer’s things were being worked-on.

While we don't know what happened in the boardroom, and although mass media fails to cover eBay’s chronic tech issues, we *do* know there was at least one significant stakeholder who was very well attuned to Wenig's chronic misexecution – Elliott Management.

Hasta la vista, Wenig.

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon May 25 17:36:13 2020

eBay is an "animal" that will never be tamed.

You adapt to change or get eaten. . .

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 25 22:09:32 2020

Absolutely disgusting!

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 17:00:15 2020

Does anyone have an idea of what the average eBay seller nets in a year?

I doubt it is even half of the median for eBay employees. Never mind Wenig.

Those guys at the top have attorney negotiated terms under which they get paid, VERY well, whether they do a good job or not. Most do not measure up.

I know that if any of us were to run our businesses the same way, we would be out of business. Fortunately for the people at eBay, we do better.

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 19:00:23 2020

If the former CEO was paid 57 million bucks when he was shown the door, what did eBay have agree to in signing on the new cracker jack "Wonderboy"?

Not less I bet...

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 29 17:21:14 2020

it comes out of your pocket - just leave ebay and start keeping your hard earned dollars - this article is shocking to me - so happy I'm gone - doesn't it really just make you sick? especially when your theone making the site work.

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Jun 1 11:14:24 2020

eBay has 25 million+ sellers

That means we each paid $2 to have him leave

It's probably the best $2 you'll ever spend. . . . .

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: Shareholder Democracy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 29 12:12:38 2020

Shareholder proposal text read at online June 29 EBAY shareholder meeting
(Differs significantly from published text to keep up with current events.)

Proposal 4 — Adopt a Mainstream Shareholder Right — Written Consent
John Chevedden, sponsor

Shareholders request that our board of directors take the steps necessary to permit written consent by shareholders entitled to cast the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize an action at a meeting at which all shareholders entitled to vote thereon were present and voting.  Written consent is a means shareholders can elect new directors between annual meetings.

This proposal topic won outstanding 47% support at the 2017 EBAY annual meeting even though it was not a fair contest in 2017. EBay management used shareholder money to distribute unnecessary glossy advertisements with 18 graphics to shareholders asking shareholders to vote for management’s negative party line on this proposal in 2017 and EBAY management is repeating this same unfair playbook again today.

The 2020 graphics even emphasize a purported pay for performance standard at EBAY after Devin Wenig collected $57 million in return for leaving EBAY. There was even a headline that said EBay’s former CEO is getting off too easily in its ugly cyberstalking scandal. Another headline said, Blogger couple were 'sent live spiders' after criticizing eBay (during Devin Wenig’s tenure).

Management clearly does not want shareholders to make a decision on this proposal in a fair contest. Yet management has the gall to put a heading in the proxy titled “Valuing Stockholder Perspectives.” The only shareholder perspectives that EBAY management values are those perspectives that already agree with management.

By staging an unfair contest on this proposal management stunningly rejects shareholder democracy. And as a consequence, Kathleen Mitic, the chair or the governance committee, deserves a vote of rejection by shareholders today.

And shareholders have just recently seen the thin skin that management has to criticism.
6 recent employees of EBAY were criminally charged last week with playing a series of cruel pranks on a middle-aged couple who published critical reviews of EBAY. And the U.S. attorney’s office is investigating whether EBAY targeted other critics with harassment campaigns.

Please vote yes to enable EBAY shareholders to elect new directors between annual meeting and save the expense and distraction of a special shareholder meeting.

Written Consent — Proposal 4

Perminate Link for Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package   Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

by: Shareholder Democracy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 6 09:40:10 2020

EBAY said to wait one-year to find out which directors failed to attend the 2020 online annual meeting.
The EBAY directors could have been eating breakfast while they “attended” the remote annual meeting.
EBAY directors are paid about $1000 an hour.

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