What does eBay’s personnel change at the top table mean for sellers?

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Chris wrote the other day about the new head of eBay in Europe in a piece called Introducing Jay Lee as the new eBay SVP of EMEA. The departure of US head Hal Lawton meant that CEO Devin Wenig needed to hold a top table reshuffle.

And that means new faces. At the heart of this, the question has to be about the extent to which individual execs are vital to the everyday experience of the eBay marketplace to the professional seller. The proof of the pudding is obviously always in the eating.

We know a few more things now about Hal Lawton’s heading off now. Firstly, as has been reported, he’s going to Macy’s as President, reporting into the CEO. Macy’s is a big US retailer obviously and Lawton’s move is a step up. He takes considerable ecommerce expertise with him and he was previously a big cheese at Home Depot. It’s hardly surprising that he is demand from a retailer such as Macy’s. But his eBay career was quite short because he only joined in 2015. It’s difficult to see his move as a vote of confidence in eBay in general.

But the incoming head of marketplaces has been quick to talk about his ideas. Scott Cutler has previously been the head of StubHub and that’s been a successful eBay division. As is usual, his statement sounds good: “The power of a marketplace rests on its ecosystem – buyers, sellers, services and the technology powering the platform. It is critically important to balance a set of diverse needs to accelerate velocity and scale. Continuing to innovate on both the underlying technology and customer experiences are critical to our joint success. I truly believe in the transformative power of technology which is why I have spent much of my career leading technology-enabled marketplaces.

My immediate priority is to accelerate the momentum we already have in the business to drive us into the future—with your support. We have tremendous opportunity ahead of us and you can expect me and our team to stay focused on accelerating our business and delivering on our goals for holiday and the remainder of 2017. We know that your success is eBay’s success and we’ll work hard to help you achieve your business objectives.”

(You can read the full announcement here.)

A change at the top table of eBay is always of significance to sellers. But we’ll see how that manifests itself in the months and years to come. What do you want to see change?

3 Responses

  1. Haven’t read the article yet. Saw the name Devin Wenig. HIs published photo looks like a chap you could do business with. Wrote to him about getting nowhere with customer service. Last October. Still waiting for a reply. Guess he’s busy with the important stuff.

  2. What does eBay’s personnel change at the top table mean for sellers?

    Probably very little.

  3. It’s not really a step up for Hal Lawton because Macy’s is in trouble – I read about its woes often on Business of Fashion and Retail Dive. Lawton was clearly more keen to head for a sinking juggernaut of a ship than stick with Ebay so you’re right; it’s not a vote of confidence in Ebay at all.

    What does the arrival of a StubbHub stalwart mean? I dread to think. Ticket resale companies are the greediest on the planet. Amazon will clean up totally when it gets going on ticket resales and buyers and sellers won’t find themselves ripped off left, right and centre, and Amazon will hit that trillion $ value.


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