This Tuesday, the 28th of January, eBay will be reporting their full year earnings for the first time with Scott Schenkel as eBay Interim CEO. There are many changes going on at eBay and, apart from their financial results, it will be interesting to see if there are any further announcements as to the direction of the company in the future.
eBay Leadership changes
First up, there has to be a CEO appointed sooner or later. Could Scott Schenkel be in line to become the permanent eBay CEO or will an outsider step in to take the reins?
We’ve noticed many changes at the top table at eBay recently and it’s significant that Rob Hattrell, VP United Kingdom, has joined the ranks of the elite eBay management team. His picture and bio recently appeared on eBay’s Our Leaders page and since then his photo has already been replaced with a better one. It’s significant that Rob is the only eBay Country Manager that’s made it to the top table, with Eben Sermon, VP Central and Southern Europe, also on the page.
Still on the page is Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, SVP & President, StubHub which is interesting as the page is obviously being maintained and StubHub has been sold. We’re also unsure what the future holds for Alessandro Coppo, SVP, General Manager, eBay Classifieds Group as there may be announcements this quarter regarding Elliott Investor’s call for a sale of the Classifieds business to be considered.
eBay UK plans for 2020
Closer to home, it’s possible to glean an insight into the direction for eBay UK this year through their job ads.
We know that eBay Payments will be coming to the UK very soon – within the next 18 months as eBay have stated they expect the rollout to be more or less complete by the end of 2021. eBay are now recruiting a Director of eBay UK Payments to run this business unit who will be responsible for ensuring the compliant running of the entity. We fully expect to hear an update on eBay Payments, either in the earnings call presentation itself or through follow up questions from investors.
eBay Category Managers
eBay are currently recruiting Category Managers and Assistant Category managers on an initial 12 month contract. (If you’re interested, they’re looking for someone with ‘Strong experience as a buyer, trader or merchandiser within an online retail environment’, so I’m guessing if you’re an experienced eBay trader that could qualify you?).
“You will define the category strategy and execute this through working with strategically important sellers, brands and retailers in your areas to ensure that eBay has the inventory to continue to grow this area. As a Category Manager in the trading team, you will be accountable for both the operational and commercial success of the brand and retailer portfolio and the wider category.”
– eBay Category Manager job description
eBay Retail Revival impact
As well as an obvious strong focus on individual categories, eBay are also looking to recruit a Seller Acquisition Manager, also on an initial 12 month contract. Far from thinking that everyone already sells on eBay, they are looking to attract businesses who haven’t yet adopted the platform and get them selling – a refreshing change from the recent influx of Chinese sellers that we’ve seen. This role looks very much like an extension of eBay Retail Revival which ran for 12 months in Wolverhampton – eBay have learned how to take businesses not selling on eBay and accelerate their learning curve so expect to see outreach in many more areas of the country in 2020 as they build a merchant recruitment team.
“We are currently seeking a Seller Acquisition Manager to join our team in Richmond, initially on a 12 month contract basis. The role is to acquire new merchants for eBay who are not yet trading on the platform. As a Seller Acquisition manager in the Business Development team, you will be accountable for both onboarding the merchant onto eBay and assisting them to grow in their first year of trading. Whilst leads will not have a pre-existing relationship with eBay, they will be selected to have compelling reasons to start selling on eBay.”
– Seller Acquisition Manager job description
What would you do if you were eBay Interim CEO?
There’s a lot going on at eBay and from everything we hear eBay UK is performing strongly compared to some of the other territories around the world – perhaps the reason Rob Hattrell is now firmly established as one of the world wide eBay leaders. We’ll be listening in on the call with particular interest in what’s going to impact you as sellers and will report back. In the mean time, do you like the changes in leadership and focus eBay have already revealed? If you were interim CEO what would you be focusing on?