Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Dec 21 2018 11:10:04

eBay Undergoes Management Shakeup

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay Chief Communications Officer Dan Tarman has left the company this week. He was a member of eBay's Executive Leadership Team reporting directly to eBay CEO Devin Wenig. The move comes as part of what appears to be an unannounced management reorganization. (See update below.)

A look at eBay's corporate website shows two other top executives mysteriously missing from the "our leaders" page. In July, Mohan Patt was listed as VP, Core Product Experience, and Mazen Rawashdeh was listed as VP, Platform Engineering. 

They had been placed in those roles to "co-lead eBay's Core Product and Technology organization" as part of a restructuring of eBay's technology department when Steve Fisher became SVP, Payments. At the time, eBay said it would leave Fisher's previous position of Chief Technology Officer unfilled.

Today, Fisher is listed on the Our Leaders page as back in the role of Chief Technology Officer, with no sign of a new head of payments. Rather, Fisher's bio describes his role of CTO as not only driving eBay's overall technology vision and strategy, but also leading the strategy and execution of its payments initiative. That's a major turnaround from eBay's message just 6 months ago.

It's unclear if Patt and Rawashdeh are still at eBay despite their purge from the leadership page. eBay has had a rough year, with CEO Devin Wenig telling attendees of a seller conference in July that he was "pissed off" at numerous technical problems the site had been experiencing.

There have been other notable executive departures this year. In July, another chief executive left eBay, Chief Product Officer RJ Pittman. No announcement was made when he left, and it took 5 months before Pittman took a new job, making it unclear what was behind his departure.

Laura Chambers left eBay the same month as Pittman. A longtime executive at eBay and PayPal (13 years), she last held the position of Vice President of Shipping/ Transportation, Authentication and Consumer Selling.

Are top executives fleeing, or is eBay wielding the axe? Whatever is behind the moves, how will this impact eBay's transition into managed payments? eBay has also been building out a new seller portal called Seller Hub. How will this year's management shakeup - particularly in the technology area - affect sellers?

Update 12/21/18: We've learned that Steve Fisher resumed his role as Chief Technology Officer in early November. Mohan Patt and Mazen Rawashdeh remain at eBay, with Patt leading eBay's buyer experience and Rawashdeh leading eBay's platform engineering efforts.



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by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 12:16:18 2018

Big grab blog title, but no content. Fluff.  Nothing to read here. was hoping for something worth reading.

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by: Ebay Little Shop of Horrors This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 12:27:14 2018

This is a big deal. They finally get it. Even Pierre sold a million dollars of ebay stock yesterday.

Anyone on marketwatch ebay? They are about to hit a new year low, now at $26.36. Right now they're at $27.27, and when they hit that new low, I'll be smiling all day.

Yes, there is a Santa Claus and dreams do come true.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 13:36:52 2018

eaby is a hologram company. Besides their office building, Stub Hub, a dwindling cash account, and $10B of "goodwill", what other assets do they REALLY have?

They get to keep less than 10% of their projected GMV, which includes seller shipping costs. That makes their GMV a semi-hologram.

Their stock is like Jack's beans, except eBay's beans won't grow.

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by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 13:38:35 2018

Sounds more like rearranging the deck chairs to me!

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 13:52:45 2018

I look at the ebay site, and continually read about new and ongoing problems.
And then I look at the pictures of the 12 "leaders".

I can't help but ask...what do these people DO all day?

Which one's wisdom thought up giving away 5% of revenue with every 15% coupon?

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Fri Dec 21 14:06:18 2018

I read this:

"eBay Chief Communications Officer Dan Tarman has left the company this week."

I hoped for this:

"eBay Chief Executive Officer David Wenig has left the company this week."

As long as this guy is still running things, he'll just replace them with more financial advisor buddies who know nothing about online sales.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Fri Dec 21 14:10:31 2018

@Ebay Little Shop of Horrors

The current stock price decline is inline with the current market downturn and says nothing about the current state of ebay.

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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 14:14:14 2018

"Even Pierre sold a million dollars of ebay stock yesterday. "

I guess he knew what was coming.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 14:14:53 2018

@ NoMoreEbay

So...the 1-year drop from $44 to $30 is a "current' drop?

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by: mamie14425 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 14:21:33 2018

Let me know when Devin Wenig is shown the door......it all rises and falls on leadership.....

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Dec 21 14:22:09 2018

Ina, it's not fair to tease us. You write: eBay Undergoes a Management Shakeup accompanied by a photo of Devin. I bet there were big smiles on many sellers' faces before they read the article.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 14:27:25 2018

Typical arrogant leadership. Same old idiots with a different title. Until the idiots are fired it isn't even worth reading. In the land of Greedbay they play musical chairs often but there is never a missing chair. Just the same duds with a different title.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 14:53:46 2018

12/21...NASDAQ down 2%, ebay down 4%...and somebody just dumped 1M shares.
Just sayin'...

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 15:13:25 2018

D- employees looking to pad their resumes by taking on new titles

Disappointing, since we all hoped that they would just go away into that dark good night but sadly ..... the idiots are still polluting eBay.

This article gave me coal for Xmas .... well there’s always next yr

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Fri Dec 21 15:23:59 2018

@ebayout

The one year drop is significant and far greater than ebay's competitors. That is indeed an indicator of investor outlook.  

However, the current drop as I said is inline with market conditions. ebay settled at around $28, $29 moving along up and down with the COMP.

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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 16:19:45 2018

ebay doesn't need a shakeup, They need a shakedown.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Fri Dec 21 16:58:24 2018

And it closed at $26.58 WOW. Look at all those management shares being sold on the 15th. What a bunch of scum.

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

Fri Dec 21 17:20:23 2018

This is the 2nd time this year a previously rather public-facing eBay, C-level guy has been quietly removed from the executive leadership ranks with no announcement or well-wishes.

My surmise is that like Pittman, Tarman was involuntarily invited to “pursue other opportunities” (Pittman recently landed a CEO gig at a tech startup).

Along with being the chief comms guy, Tarman was very proud of politicizing his personal views (much like Wenig) the public eBay platform he held as eBay’s chief mouthpiece.

The guy also liked to blather on about the benefit of “being authentic” and “empathic” in ways that, to me, made no business sense. Just revisit his Holmes report interview from August: https://www.holmesreport.com/agency-playbook/sponsored/article/influen
ce-100-ebay's-dan-tarman-on-digital-disruption-purpose

Nothing
smacks as “authentic” quite as much as a guy who likes to boast about being so much of it.
Good riddance to bad rubbish.

The real question of course is when will Pierre and Tierney come to terms with Wenig’s failing catalog and replatforming/rebranding effort and replace the guy (and most the rest of the C-team) with competent, hungry-for-results talent?
Wenig’s comp package is significantly higher than comps, and most importantly the guy’s not delivering results for their shareholders or eBay’s customer-sellers.

Other musings:

1. I noticed a month or two ago the eBay leadership pages were completely bereft of VP-levels and I think I commented on and ECB post somewhere that my guess was there were simply too many VP’s to bother with (and undoubtedly some were butt-hurt that Rawashdeh and Patt both had such public placements), thus the page is now only SVP’s and above.

2. Fisher’s flip-flopping role as CTO is equally bizarre. Clearly the guy is out of his depth or he doesn’t have the proper support to both develop Wenigs new tools while still keeping the basic tech plumbing going. Ebay’s bugs and glitches abound to this day, as any recent visit to ECB’s EKG and @askeBay’s Twitter account clearly indicate. It’s time for Fisher to pack up as well and enjoy retirement. He can play twinkle-toes with Wenig in his Hampton’s Jacuzzi.

3. Ebay’s stock has been beaten and battered well before the most recent market turmoil. In particular,back in July when the layoffs were announced $EBAY lost 10% in one day. YTD $EBAY is down ~30% compared to the Nasdaq composite ~9%. Often times cost-cutting and re-orgs will have a positive impact on the stock, but eBay’s layoffs and quarterly performance did not have those results.

No wonder Wenig wants to keep his C-level departures on the down low.




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

Fri Dec 21 17:36:33 2018

ebayout said, "That makes their GMV a semi-hologram".
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Great analogy! I would love to see ECB (or someone) do an updated dive into just exactly what constitutes eBay's GMV calculus (not to mention that the SEC ought to as well).

Why is this critical metric not transparently enumerated?

Does the GMV tally capture any of the following values that would artificially inflate the number?:

- Fictitious pre-markdown or strike-through listing prices?
- The highest price a giving listing is ever listed at?
- Original listing prices of accepted best-offers?
- Orders that are immediately cancelled after the sale?
- Shipping costs on items without "free" shipping?
- UPIs?
- Etc. etc......

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 21 18:10:32 2018

@Fidomaster
Hopefully after today's 5% drop and 32M share sell-off, the BOD will seriously consider some action re Wenig. The stock is up a whole quarter for 52 weeks.
Yes, the market's been battered, but ebay stock is battered AND bruised.

Wenig is so long past the days of rosy projections and "disruptive innovation".

"Disruptive Innovation"...is that like going to a restaurant and having a different waiter each take and deliver your drink order, your appetizer order, your main course order, your dessert order, and then bring your check?

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