Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue May 21 2019 10:17:08

Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

By: Ina Steiner

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It was a bit startling to read a tweet referencing a drinking establishment at eBay headquarters in San Jose, California: "Feel like I've finally arrived. Having a drink at @eBay onsite pub Walker's West with the brilliant #ebay #community team," wrote an employee of one of eBay's contractors who included a hashtag for "yes those are drink tickets."

It's probably news to sellers (and shareholders?) that eBay has a pub-like lounge on campus - especially one built with what appears to be no-expenses-spared. The contractor describes the project on its site as follows:

EBAY WALKER'S WEST LOUNGE, SAN JOSE
- Gensler Architects
- Tenant improvement to convert on campus historic house from office to lounge space
- Commissioned by CEO to replicate a known NYC restaurant
- Custom tin ceiling with intricate can lighting cutouts and LED lit perimeter crown molding
- New bar counter build out with custom mirrors and lighting
- High end finishes and detailed elements for historical accuracy throughout

eBay opened the Walker's West Lounge in 2017, two years after eBay CEO Devin Wenig, a New York City transplant, took the helm. This tweet shows a picture of the outside of the "pub."



Wenig also opened a lavish new building called "Main Street" in 2016. In a speech at the grand opening, he said, "Buildings are symbols of your culture and of your brand. They are who you are in some ways, and who you want to be."

It's unlikely Wenig will be opening other luxurious spaces on eBay campuses to indulge in nostalgia for his home city - activist investor Elliott Management criticized management in January for its wasteful spending. In its letter to the board in a section titled "Operational Improvements and Margin Expansion," it wrote:

"Today eBay suffers from an inefficient organizational structure, wasteful spend and a misallocation of resources. By increasing operational efficiency, eBay can free up capital to invest in capability- and revenue-enhancing activities."

eBay is charging sellers more and offering less (see its 2019 first-quarter financials); they might be wondering what took investors so long to speak up on how the company's management and board of directors are using the revenue generated by sellers' fees. Stiff drink, anyone?

Update 5/22/19: As Dan Davis posted on this thread on Twitter, the page featuring details from the contractor who built the replica tavern on eBay's campus has been taken down since we published this post yesterday.

The following is a snippet from a file we created yesterday when the page was still up.



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Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

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

Tue May 21 10:34:41 2019

Oh, this is funny. What an idiot. Where do you find this stuff? You couldn't make this up.

Does the Phantom have a bar, too?  

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue May 21 10:35:19 2019

Well there we go. Now we know what the silly Megalomaniac wants to be in real life. A NY Restaurant Owner. He said it in his own words "Buildings are symbols of your culture and of your brand. They are who you are in some ways, and who you want to be."

OK eBay Board, you heard him. Fire him and send him off to live his dream.

Megalomania: a delusional MENTAL ILLNESS that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

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

Tue May 21 10:43:48 2019

Ina, is there a way to find out if his phantom rolls royce is titled in the corporate name?

Is it his personal company car? Who pays for the security?

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

by: Deacon Blues This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 21 10:46:02 2019

DW be like "Let them eat cake!"

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 21 13:19:53 2019

Sure sellers - go buy more sponsored ads !

Site improvement? Nah
Seller protection? Nah

DW built himself and the dinglebops "working" at eBay a pub so they can drink themselves silly all the while laughing about "the poor stupid sellers" they ripped off that day.

Just imagine the stories they swap!

Ole' Griff (while drunk) ..... talking to DW ... "you GOTTA hear todays story!, can you imagine the poor slob who called me crying about his return !? What a dope! He actually expected US to help him! He claimed he got back a toaster instead of a laptop! Boy what an idiot - he expected us to help him .... what does he think we are ??? his partner or something?????" .......... "Hey bartender! Send me over a few more whiskeys, put in some sellers tab!"


Its not actually all that funny is it ... but there you go ... THATS eBay 2019.

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

by: b86fiero This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 21 14:36:16 2019

So, is this fantastical bar open to stressed out sellers too, should we find ourselves in San Jose?

Are lower income employees welcome?

Or is it reserved for upper management and their invited guests?

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 21 15:11:41 2019

Based on the fact one person stated that ''yes those are drink tickets''' makes it pretty clear that Ebay controls who drinks in there and how much they drink.  I think its fitting that one of the tweets that is shown has the person having a drink with Alan and others from the Community Team,  I guess that is why they get so little done in the way of helping Sellers out with their questions.  

Personally this just adds more fuel to the fire as to why Ebay needs to get rid of Wenig.  The insufferable twit sits there constantly needing to find ways to get more money from their current sellers pockets while openly admitting they plan on doing so with reduced sales and then we find out this is how the company spends their money?  I have never seen any other company that had a bar on the company premises (other than a company that is in that business), let alone one that is owned by the company.  This leaves that company so wide open to lawsuits if anybody were to be injured in an accident where a driver was supplied a drink at the company bar.  I wonder how much Ebay has paid out in settlements with Non Disclosure Agreements all so that Wenig can have a bar like the one back home on the company premises.  Talk about a complete idiot running the company.  

I can only imagine how all the employees that have been laid off due to his stupidity running the company feel about the fact that Ebay built a bar on the company premises so that the CEO could have something to remind him of home.  The shareholders have to have been kept in the dark on this disaster of a waste of corporate assets.  Anybody want to give odds on how long it is until that little company secret gets shut down due to Shareholder outrage?  All these years Ebay paid nothing out in dividends but then blow the money to build an exact replica of a bar back home for the CEO.

All i can say is Wenig - you have to be the absolute stupidest CEO still alive on this planet.  You went super cheap on your companies livelihood platform redesign, all so you could blow all that money on an unnecessary reminder of home that is also a major lawsuit waiting to happen.  The BOD needs to replace you immediately and also lower your annual bonus by double all the costs associated with the building and running of that bar since its inception as a complete demonstration of your lack of fiduciary responsibility towards your investors.

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue May 21 16:44:51 2019

Nice pergola.

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

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

Tue May 21 17:24:11 2019

I say that if Devin Wenig wants to be reminded of home, send him there...permanently.

What unmitigated gall it takes to build something like that in light of the poor performance his company boasts. Do tell me, what value does that establishment add to the operation of eBay? How do I benefit as a customer and payer of fees for services, that quite frankly are not received on a consistent basis?

Does that fool even realize how many sellers are actually struggling to make ends meet, while he and his team sit back, likely in that bar, conjuring up schemes to extract more fee revenue from those very same sellers?

How dare he splurge on such a waste, while small investors have lost hard earned money that was invested in the company that he manages.

He should be ashamed of himself.

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

by: notfunanymore This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 21 18:38:32 2019

And the hits just keep on coming  

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue May 21 19:34:38 2019

It's heartwarming to know that Devin, who is seemingly incapable of keeping eBay running properly, has the funds to build a bar at the corporate headquarters. I guess that explains all the policies eBay initiates: everyone is drunk.

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 21 19:59:03 2019

@Deacon Blues

LOL!  And history tells us what happened to the last one who said that!  Will hisotry repeat itself?  🥴

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

by: industrystones This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 21 22:00:21 2019

Here's the part that mad me laugh the hardest . . .
". . . . . with the brilliant #ebay #community team,"

Pinheads. The lot of them.

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed May 22 02:51:37 2019

I don't see the big deal.  Seems like a nice perk if you are an employee of Ebay or sub contractor as it may be.  Lots of corporations have lavish stuff that most of us will not experience with our little businesses.  I'm jealous, but not upset.  

It has existed for a couple years now.  It didn't affect any of us previous to knowing about it, so why does it now?

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 22 06:51:15 2019

"I don't see the big deal."

Until they hide your listings and take your money anyway.

Until they force an unnecessary return on you for no reason

Until they put ads in your listing

Until they put ads UNDER your listing for someone else

Until they hide other sellers listings


Im glad YOU dont care what happens to YOUR money, some of us effected sellers - we care.

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed May 22 08:51:54 2019

Money put into "High end finishes and detailed elements for historical accuracy throughout" is not money invested back in the site, compensate employees, or put into shareholders' pockets.

Curious if they shopped on eBay when building and furnishing the pub, that's something Etsy seems to do (or did).

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed May 22 09:29:32 2019

A restaurant at Googleplex, share holders should be up in arms of the wasted money! ~ LOL

Ina, this is an investment, an investment in employee sanity. If you can bring up moral at eBay it's worth every penny spent. . .

Does the Walker's tavern serve food?

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

Wed May 22 10:13:11 2019

Hey, Marie.

The original Google had gourmet chefs and free food for their employees. They had a space for games, another filled with sleep pods, because an overcompensated employee works harder, better, more effectively and efficiently.

This is not a pub for employees; this is symbol of Wenig's self-indulgence.

And it's important now because two activist investors have paid their way onto the board. They do not like the excessive waste and nepotism in Ebay. Not to mention the incompetence. The shareholders deserve better, and they are right.

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

by: SomeRandy This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 22 11:08:50 2019

This is what happens when you let a bunch of Liberals run a company.

Perminate Link for Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?   Did You Know eBay Built a Lavish NYC Pub Style Lounge?

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

Wed May 22 12:10:15 2019

Pity the poor Ebay employee who doesn't understand she's being videotaped, recorded, her alcohol consumption tallied, as well as her friends from work, (guilt by association).

I've worked for many large corporations. They all have a watering hole, at least the managers. Usually a large table in the back, as separate as possible from other customers, because they get very funny, and very loud, and very honest.

What Ebay employee would indulge there? This pub is a counterfeit  of a pub wenig liked in ny. Probably parts came from china.

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