eBay Finally Fills Marketplaces Slot - with Publishing Exec
By Ina Steiner
Devin Wenig is trading in his East Coast neckties for a more casual West Coast dress code. And what better place to sell those ties than on eBay, his new employer?
Wenig is eBay's new President of Global Marketplaces Business, a position that has been vacant for a year after Lorrie Norrington stepped down citing personal family reasons. In that time, eBay made a number of acquisitions impacting its Marketplaces business, including ecommerce platforms GSI Commerce and Magento.
Wenig began his career by taking over his father's pharmaceutical business at age 23 after attending law school. According to a Crains New York profile, he raised $5 million in venture capital and helped turn around the company. He then worked his way up to become Chief Operating Officer of Reuters before its merger with Thomson, at which point he led the integration of the two companies.
Wenig, now 44, was CEO of Thomson Reuters Markets, a division of Thomson Reuters, where he led the company's global financial services and media businesses until stepping down in July.
Why select an executive with a background in pharma and publishing rather than retail? One could ask why the board made a similar decision in 2005 when it hired an executive in the management consultant field, John Donahoe, and groomed him for the top spot.
Could Donahoe be laying the groundwork for his own exit as Meg Whitman did 6 years ago?
Wenig told friends that he formed a friendship and partnership with John Donahoe, and "I truly believe that we see the world in a similar fashion. John took this same role after he left as Worldwide Managing Director of Bain, and before he succeeded Meg Whitman as EBay's CEO. I am delighted at the opportunity to follow in his footsteps and be part of a team that helps define the future of global e-commerce."
Wenig also told his friends that after leaving Thomson Reuters Markets, he had been presented with an incredible set of diverse opportunities in a short period of time. "From financial services to information to media, I am truly humbled by the outreach and the fact that that the owners and managers of some fantastic franchises would entrust them to my stewardship."
And what made eBay attractive to Wenig? According to a letter to friends, he was attracted to the "excitement, innovation, and impact" of Silicon Valley. "I came close to going once before and always believed that there would come a time for me to do a turn in the Valley. At this point in my career, a big platform, big brand, and global impact were all part of what I was solving for in prioritizing opportunities."
And eBay wooed him with $13.5 million.
Wenig will receive an annual salary of $750,000 with bonuses; $2,400,000 in stock options; an award of $1,800,000 in restricted stock units; a target award of $1,800,000 performance based restricted stock units; another award of restricted stock units valued at $6,000,000; and participation in the eBay Incentive Plan (eIP) with a target bonus of 100% of base salary.
Wenig will have a lot of catching up to do before the Innovate developers conference next month in San Francisco where eBay will reveal more about its X.commerce initiative that brings together the developers programs of its various units including eBay Marketplaces, PayPal, Magento and GSI Commerce.
It appears Wenig also wants to brush up on eBay selling. On Wednesday he tweeted, "For sale on eBay. 3 dozen really nice ties!"
Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog - What would you tell eBay's new President of Marketplaces?
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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