EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2774 - April 03, 2012     3 of 5

eBay Gets Served by American Express, Loses X.commerce CTO

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Neal Sample is leaving eBay's X.Commerce developers program and will join the technology team at American Express responsible for its Serve online payments platform. He was named Senior Vice President of Serve Enterprise and will work to broaden and strengthen the company's technology development and operations.

Sample was the Chief Technology Officer of X.Commerce, PayPal's developers program that also encompasses eBay and Magento. He was part of the company's effort to create a "Commerce Identity" for every shopper across the web, tied to PayPal.

American Express launched Serve last year as an open technology platform designed to deliver emerging payments and services to address the changing ways consumers interact and exchange money.

Serve is pitting itself directly against PayPal and offers free person-to-person money transfers. After June 1, 2012, Serve will begin charging fees for funding accounts with a credit card (2.9% of the amount transferred plus $0.30 per transfer) and for getting cash from an ATM.

PayPal lost its President to Yahoo in January, and PayPal executive David Marcus was named his replacement effective yesterday, April 2nd.

Sample joined eBay 18 months ago. Prior to X.commerce, Sample was Vice President of Architecture and Platform Products at eBay, where he was responsible for leading the company's platform architecture, product strategy and managing the design and delivery of the developers program. Prior to eBay, he was a senior executive at Yahoo where he led the Open, Social, and Participation platforms. In addition to platform operation and development, his team was responsible for partnerships with Zynga, Facebook and Twitter.

Sample said in a statement, "This is a transformative time in the digital payments industry and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to become a part of the American Express. I firmly believe that American Express is leading the way in emerging commerce applications and Serve is a perfect example of how the company continues to innovate in this space."

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

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