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Ebay CEO Devin Wenig resigns



EBay Inc. CEO Devin Wenig has left the electronic marketplace citing conflicts with the company's new board, which oversees a strategic review of the business.

San Jose, California, has evaluated its business since March after activist investor Elliott Management Corp. and Starboard Value LP had criticized the company's performance and asked to break it up.

The company, which has been looking for growth in light of the steep online retail competition, said it plans to share results from that review this fall.

Mr. Wenig, who also resigns as a board member, served as CEO for more than four years. He joined the company in 2011 as president of his marketplace, generating the bulk of eBay's revenue.

"Over the past few weeks, it became clear that I was not on the same page as my new board," Wenig tweeted from his personal account Wednesday. "When that happens, it's [sic] best for everyone to turn that page around."

EBay declined to comment on Mr. Wenig's statements.

In the Market

EBay's revenues are largely dependent on the core market. business.

six-month segment revenue in 2019

"Despite this progress, given a number of considerations, both Devin and the board believe that a new CEO is best for the company at this time," the chairman

Thomas Tierney

said it in a statement.

EBay said that CFO Scott Schenkel will serve as CEO on a temporary basis while conducting a search for a successor, adding that it will evaluate internal and external candidates.

Andy Cring,

Currently acting Vice President for Global Financial Planning and Analysis, will serve as interim CFO.

eBay shares fell about 1% in Wednesday trading. The stock has held about 40% this year.

Earlier this year eBay agreed to add three new board members after entering into agreements with the major hedge funds Starboard and Elliott. So far, eBay has added two new directors, including

Jesse Cohn,

which drives Ellio's American stock activism.

Elliott and Starboard had pushed the electronic market company to get rid of StubHub. Elliott had also said that eBay would unload its classifieds business.

The company paid its first quarterly dividend in March; Months earlier, it pledged to give $ 7 billion to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks over the next two years. EBay Wednesday maintained its revenue outlook for the year, expecting revenues between $ 10.75 billion and $ 10.83 billion, which would represent a growth of between 2% and 3% from 2018.

Mr. Wenig became eBay's CEO after the company spun off

PayPal

in 2015, which it had bought in 2002 for about $ 1.5 billion – one of the biggest tech deals of that time. The rationale for the split was that it would give both companies greater flexibility in their respective industries, eBay in online retail and PayPal in a rapidly evolving payment industry.

Currently PayPal Holdings Inc. has a stock market value of over $ 120 billion, while eBay is more than $ 32 billion, the latter of which has been little changed since the spinoff.

Pierre Omidyar

led eBay from its founding in 1995 through 1997.

Meg Whitman,

who steered the company through the initial public offering in 1998, left the company in 2008. Its next CEO,

John Donahoe,

operated eBay from then until 2015.

Mr. Wenig has had difficulty growing the company from its roots as an online auction to more of a real marketplace. EBay has sought to attract younger customers and worked to get brands to sell more of their products through the company's e-commerce platform.

Nevertheless, with eBay, annual revenue has grown each year after PayPal sales.

"Devin did a really good job initially shepherding the transition after the separation of eBay and PayPal," said D.A. Davidson analyst Tom Forte. "Where Devin could have done a better job of taking eBay to the next level." With CEO's exit, Forte said he believes it is more likely that eBay will sell the classified business, StubHub, or both.

Mr. Wenig's departure also follows a number of other high-level exits from eBay over the past year or so, including the technology manager

Steve Fisher,

who left in May, and Head of Product Manager RJ Pittman, who retired in 2018.

From late 2018, eBay began to make drastic changes to its managed payment systems, allowing sellers to manage sales, payments and other services within a account and accept different payment options.

eBay has also changed its advertising business. And it recently closed its third-party ad network that allowed sellers to advertise on other websites to focus on promoted listings on its own website

While eBay has said the new initiatives could boost business, it hasn't seen enough growth to offset problems elsewhere .

EBay's sales growth has slowed, rising only 2% in the last quarter of last year, as the value of goods sold on the site has fallen, falling another 4% in the quarter to $ 22.6 billion.

eBay was once an online juggernaut and has struggled to match the growth of its larger rival

Amazon.com
Inc.,

as per eMarketer, about 38% of US online retail sales, while eBay only has a 6% share.

Unlike Amazon, which has built stock throughout the country, is a third-party seller network and builds its own brands, eBay's revenue is dependent on transaction fees, and it has not grown its own distribution network.

In July, eBay launched a fulfillment service, but only for the biggest sellers.

"They didn't have people who had much experience with e-commerce or who knew e-commerce in the early years," said a former eBay board member. "Devin has been more of an operating man than an innovator."

Write to Sebastian Herrera at Sebastian.Herrera@wsj.com and Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com

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