Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Apr 13 2020 09:53:57

eBay Appoints New CEO, Will It Lead to Amazonification?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay has a new CEO, former eBay executive Jamie Iannone, who is currently Chief Operating Officer of Walmart eCommerce.

After Devin Wenig abruptly left eBay in September, the board of directors had named Chief Financial Officer Scott Schenkel to fill the role of chief executive on an interim basis.

eBay's board was pressured to name an external candidate by activist investor Starboard Value LP, which informed eBay last month that it felt the board was moving too slowly to fill the role of CEO.

As we wrote last month, Schenkel did not appear to have the confidence of Starboard. It urged eBay to focus on external candidates who would "bring a fresh perspective and energy to the Company after its prolonged underperformance."

In today's announcement, Chairman of the eBay board Thomas Tierney wrote:

"The Board believes Jamie is the ideal CEO to lead eBay's next chapter of growth and success. We have all been impressed by his strong track record of innovation, execution, operational excellence, and developing teams that drive results. Jamie has consistently delivered high growth during rapid periods of industry disruption, consumer change and technological advancement. He is a world-class leader, and we are excited to welcome him back to eBay."

Iannone had worked at eBay from 2001 through 2009, when he left to run digital products at bookseller chain Barnes & Noble.

As his bio on the Walmart site states, he had run various divisions during his tenure at eBay including global search, buyer experience and tailored shopping experience and had previously worked at Epinions.com, Microsoft, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Activist investor Starboard had also called last month for eBay to name four executives to its board of directors, including two former eBay executives, Stephanie Tilenius and Shannon (Stubo) Brayton.

Both Iannone and Tilenius were at eBay when John Donahoe took over as CEO from Meg Whitman and led the company into new directions that antagonized many longtime sellers on the marketplace. This June 2008 AuctionBytes blog post may be interesting to those looking for insight into the backgrounds of those executives and the the concept of the "Amazonification" of eBay.

Iannone's start date as eBay CEO is April 27, 2020. Scott Schenkel will continue as interim CEO until that date and "will thereafter work with Mr. Iannone to ensure a smooth transition of leadership," eBay stated. Andy Cring will continue to serve as interim CFO. Tierney noted eBay's deep appreciation to Schenkel in the announcement.

We're interested to hear what sellers think of eBay's choice of new CEO. Will he be focused on the "Amazonification" of eBay? How does the news bode for sellers of unique inventory?



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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Appoints New CEO, Will It Lead to Amazonification?   eBay Appoints New CEO, Will It Lead to Amazonification?

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

Mon Apr 13 10:25:50 2020

Quick take:

+ External Hire
+ Accomplished retail & ecom exec
+ Announcement quoted Iannone, ''eBay’s success has always been rooted in its robust C2C platform'' giving further support to the notion that the ''Amazonification'' of eBay has not been a fruitful strategic plan and that eBay's going to have to 'lean in' and embrace the core SMB & C2C sellers.

- Yet *another* rehire (eBay continues to struggle in finding exec candidates that aren't recycled)  

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by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 10:48:50 2020

He was with eBay from 2001 to 2009, and eBay was better during that period than at any time since. Hopefully he brings back what eBay was at that period, but I'll believe it when I see it.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 11:19:00 2020

Who is ebay?
ebay is Jekyll and Hyde...depends on what day it is and who answers the phone.
Maybe he can work on that...

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 11:40:12 2020

I can't see how a 3rd attempt to walk ebay down proven path to failure would bring growth or accomplishment to the platform.

All "amazonification" attempts have just lead ebay to be a fulfillment center for amazon, a clearing house for used goods marketed as "new - open box", a dumping ground for Chinese trash, and a buyer against seller friction filled game of meeting nonsensical standards. How can anyone expect buyers to get good service when the current climate prices out premium products or turns nice new in box items into returned used damaged goods? Good service on ebay leads to bankruptcy of good sellers thinning the path for sellers with "no skin in the game" inventory flooding the site. My last few purchases have included items that have been been amazon/walmart fulfilled, location misrepresented, "new in box" with clear signs of use damage and dirt, and a very bad counterfeit masked by a blurry pic.

Hopefully we can walk a different path or we can just wait another 10yrs until this one gets the boot. One way or the other amazon only works for amazon and amazonification only works for amazon.

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 11:41:16 2020

"Amazonification" ? I dont see it. Well if it does happen it will be a long long transition. There will be no overnight transition's. They cannot chase away their current sellers.

Who knows what this guy will do. Hopefully hire a whole new staff that will actually do work, instead of warming seats and collecting paychecks.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Apr 13 11:50:42 2020

As soon as I read the name Jamie, all I could think of was the guy in the Progressive Insurance commercials. Hopefully he can bring eBay back to its glory days (though I doubt it).

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 12:12:27 2020

Just another recycled executive looking for a golden parachute in two years.

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 12:14:14 2020

another fleecebay reject comes back after not being being able to hold a job at at least 5 other companies.

another yes man hire from the useless BOD

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by: jbantiques This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 12:20:06 2020

The quote on a share of AMZN as I post this -  $2147.    EBAY is at $34.78.   Interestingly, both are up 2.76% for the day although the Dow is down 500+ points. Amazonification has its advantages.  

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 12:21:36 2020

Funny timing?...1st quarter results are due shortly.
Will they be in the tank? Will he be the "savior"?

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

Mon Apr 13 12:24:34 2020

Starboard and Elliot were looking for a cheap replacement and since K-Mart isn't doing too well, they had to go to Walmart.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 12:28:13 2020

1. "Iannone had worked at eBay from 2001 through 2009, when he left to run digital products at bookseller chain Barnes & Noble."

Yes and how did the NOOK work out? Its on the rubbish heap of e-readers/tablets

STRIKE 1

2. "Scott Schenkel will continue as interim CEO until that date and "will thereafter work with Mr. Iannone to ensure a smooth transition of leadership,"

Smeckle was just that - a failure. With all of Stubhubs success and all of Paypals growth, he couldnt capitalize on it and get it integrated into eBay so that all parts worked as one unit

Strike 2

3. Looking for him on Walmart "https://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/leadership/executive-manageme
nt/jamie-iannone"
..... "
Page Not Found
Sorry, the page you tried was not found. Did you try searching? Enter a keyword(s) in the search field or try one of the links below."

The second he jumped ship, Walmart erased the info - they obviously couldnt wait for him to go. He also has that same stupid smirk that all eBay rats seem to have.

Ball 1 (foul)

4. "Despite the changes, Starboard nominated four directors to EBay’s board last month, and said it was critical the board look outside of the company for its next CEO. A representative for Starboard could not be reached for comment."

Recycling the same old garbage people over and over. The definition of idiocy is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results "this" time.

Ball 2 (full count)

5. The financial BS GAMES continue "I will focus on continuing to evolve the company’s strategy while delivering on eBay’s commitment to maximize long-term shareholder value.”

LONG TERM SHAREHOLDER VALUE ... in english A) more of the same B) sellers will get treated worse

Strike 3

Well it looks like A) no REAL CEO wanted (the dumpster fire known as eBay) job - so they drove a dump truck of sellers monies to his mansion and made him an offer he couldnt refuse (like all mafias do). Like that other shmo they called back from Walmart - not much will happen (thats POSITIVE for sellers) - big Yawn except if you play the market - the stock will go UP, you will make coin off it but eBay will stay the same.

Big Whoop.

BTW - if you make eBay into Amazon, sellers will just go there ... whats the point?

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by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 14:42:50 2020

"Chief Operating Officer of Walmart eCommerce"  That says it all.. Walmarts eCommerce completely blows.. it had potential but 4 years later and it blows just as much as it did on day 1.   This is gonna be baddddddddddd.....

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Apr 13 16:04:46 2020

Another day, another CEO hired because he long ago sold his soul to Wall Street.

Unless this former eBay executive realizes that the relationship between eBay and it's sellers is broken nearly beyond repair, nothing will change or improve.

At the rate eBay continues to devalue, denigrate and fail their sellers, the end may just happen on this guy's watch.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Apr 13 16:37:51 2020

Can it be worse? Honestly I don't know how you can get worse that the absolute worst. It's at its lowest now. Other than selling it for a dime on the dollar, where else can it go?

I'm fairly sure the board knew they had to have someone in from outside before Q1 was released. Schenkel will continue to look like the same old idiot he's been for the past 7 months. No improvements....down down down.

If this guy has any hope in hell, his first job needs to be to determine who needs to go ASAP, or at least send them on a long holiday.

Here's a link still open.
https://corporate.samsclub.com/leadership/jamie-iannone

At least it's not another lawyer......?

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 17:06:53 2020

Brit :)

You can tell what sellers will be getting from this dope by the description of his past work:

1) Previously, Jamie was president of digital products at Barnes & Noble, Inc., where he was responsible for all NOOK devices, software, accessories and retail integration and experiences; books and digital content; and third-party partnerships.

Own a NOOK? I do - you can get more from a rock you found by the river then the NOOK. I see he did himself PROUD - the NOOK arena is THRIVING (just kidding its as dead as a doornail).

That REALLY says alot about his accomplishment(s) there.

But lets be "fair" (something thats not in eBays OWN vocabulary) about what he did at eBay when he was there ....

"He also spent eight years at eBay as a vice president leading several areas of the company including its global search, buyer experience and tailored shopping experience divisions."

Umm Hello!? Sellers?? HELLO????? (Tommy can you hear me?, Can you feel me near you?)(shout out to the Who for that)

He concentrated on BUYER experience ..... at this point - besides them getting my car for free - eBay buyers can do as they please - up until murdering the seller in cold blood (sorry we see you are a business and in business you MUST TAKE RISKS) (just wait till a buyer claims he got Covad-19 from a seller and eBay takes his side) - so what MORE is there to do ?

He also did "global search" ... well we all know how GREAT eBay search is ....... (well if you pay them enough money anyway...)

Lastly he did " tailored shopping experience divisions" - whats that? was that the catering to big brands? Yeh thats doing wonders .... go look at Skullcandys store if it even exists anymore.

The guys a "hidden" insider as RIC said. The clock was ticking - they needed to pick someone - they took back an old guy who would do what they want - assault sellers to insure stock gains (revenue) to insure golden parachutes.

Stock Traders 1
Sellers 0

as usual.

Where are the eBay cheerleaders NOW?

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by: stage_won This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 17:08:38 2020

@shut1968

''That says it all.. Walmarts eCommerce completely blows..''

You got that right after trying their 3rd-party ecommerce site as a buyer. After dealing with a terrible seller on there, I will give credit to Walmart for issuing a refund. I tried to make suggestions so this wouldn't happen again to another buyer and their CS told me that's just the way it is. Reminded me of how ebay treats these things and now that I know Walmart had hired an old ebay retread, I understand why.

eBay hiring back an old retread is not good at all after that investor group wanted a true outsider. This is my gut instinct saying this but it is not wrong very often. The acting ebay CEO and BOD didn't want a true outsider because they have much to hide, including and especially their dealings with the Chinese government, which could be borderline seditious or treasonous with how corrupt China has turned out to be.  

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 13 17:13:01 2020

"tailored shopping experience" = manipulated search results that benefit the company

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Apr 13 17:24:28 2020

Walmart's site is adequate.  Good place to get cheap inventory when they don't stock their stores and distributors don't do their jobs.  But I could never sell there because there are so many hoops to jump through.

Unless the plan is to backtrack on Mangled Payments, I don't really care what this fool says or does.

Perminate Link for eBay Appoints New CEO, Will It Lead to Amazonification?   eBay Appoints New CEO, Will It Lead to Amazonification?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Apr 13 19:20:50 2020

@RL15

Jamie Iannone has been at Walmart for the last 6 years.

He QUIT that job to take this one, he's hardly a "reject" as he was moving up the Walmart ladder. . . .

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