|Mon Aug 21 2017 09:32:32|
eBay Scrambles as Head of Marketplaces Departs
By: Ina Steiner
Hal Lawton is a familiar face to many sellers, but the head of eBay Marketplaces North America is leaving for another company, eBay announced Monday
as it shuffled top executives to fill the void. (See update below.
In an interview in 2015
after having been at the company for just 6 months, eBay gave Lawton credit for having "led the business through major milestones including the overhaul of seller standards, the development and release of the new Seller Hub, and the recently announced pricing and listing changes."
While many hoped replacing eBay CEO John Donahoe 2 years ago with Lawton's boss, Devin Wenig, might have eventually slowed the pace of change, eBay continues to make drastic changes impacting sellers, with one executive recently calling eBay a "company of continuous innovation" when explaining the reason
for making unannounced changes outside of the Spring and Summer Seller Updates.
Lawton was a major presence at the recent eBay Open seller conference in Las Vegas. On July 25th, he tweeted a picture
of himself on the exhibit hall floor standing next to eBay CEO Devin Wenig: "Just arrived at #eBayOpen2017! Excited to spend the next few days in Las Vegas meeting with and supporting @eBay sellers."
Now Wenig is seeking a replacement as he turns to StubHub President Scott Cutler to take on Lawton's role in addition to his existing duties as head of eBay's tickets marketplace.
During the early years of eBay's public life, then CEO Meg Whitman kept a deep bench (in fact surprising many when she picked an outsider to take over when she left). That's no longer the case, and the departure of Lawton leaves questions not only about replacing members of Wenig's top team with such exits, but raises the question of who would step into his own shoes if the CEO were to depart.
Lawton's departure also raises questions about the success of Wenig's initiatives at a crucial time, as Wall Street looks for the promised benefits of his Structured Data Initiative, technology investments such as AI and machine learning, and a move to take eBay "everywhere" rather than expecting shoppers to visit the marketplace.
eBay didn't reveal where Lawton is headed - but where he lands could make Monday's announcement even more troubling.
Update 8/21/17: Hal Lawton landed at Macy's, see details.