eBay released a slide deck of an investor presentation dated May 2019 in which it paints a positive picture of the company. It also argued against a shareholder proposal that calls for a mandate to have an independent Chairman of the Board.
eBay outlined its strategic priorities:
- Best Choice (greatest selection including "incredible deals")
- Most Relevance (easy-to-find and compare items with a data-driven and personalized shopping experience)
- Most Powerful Selling Platform
For the latter priority, eBay outlined the following:
- For business sellers: the potential to drive profitable sales and build a brand;
- For consumer sellers: an easy way to declutter, sell and make money;
- A partnership, not a competition.
eBay also outlined its Long Term Growth Initiatives as follows:
- Continue to make foundational investments to improve the long-term health and competitiveness of our Marketplace while setting the stage for significant growth opportunities in Payments and Advertising.
- Further build out a comprehensive catalog, to enable improved user experience while addressing customer imperatives such as trust and shipping.
- Focus on delivering significant product experience changes for new customers while evolving the experience for our existing base of users.
eBay pointed to how it has whittled down its portfolio by spinning off PayPal in 2015, divesting itself of Mercado Libre in 2016 and Flipkart in 2018. But it said it was able to provide meaningful returns to shareholders through share repurchases, and bragged that it improved Total Shareholder Return since the 2015 spinoff by 35%.
eBay devoted a large portion of the presentation to Board and Corporate Governance Practices.
While it has had an independent Chairman of the Board since 2015, some shareholders want to make it a requirement that it do so. Prior to 2015, company founder Pierre Omidyar had served as Chairman since the company went public (Omidyar was not considered independent).
In the section of the slide deck devoted to executive compensation titled, "Compensation Program Aligned with Business Goals and Culture," it stated, "Our compensation program is heavily performance- and equity-based and aligns management with stockholders."
The timing is interesting - the financial community is still absorbing the Wall Street Journal's annual CEO Pay Ranking report where there was skepticism about top CEO compensation. "Heads they win, tails they don't lose much: Once again, CEO pay lines up poorly with performance," tweeted a USA Today reporter
along with a link to the article.
There's more to see in the presentation slides, which you can find on the SEC.gov website
. Let us know what you think.