Auction site eBay’s CEO, Margaret Whitman, is all set to retire after a decade at the firm.
Whitman said it was time for a “fresh set of eyes” at the top of the company. Her departure was announced as eBay delivered a disappointing forecast for its future earnings, sending its shares down by 5%.
“With the level of technological change, competitive dynamics, consumer change in our industry, sometimes you need a fresh set of eyes and a new vision,” said Whitman, who has taken eBay from a little known start-up to a household name since joining in 1998.
The transition on the Web front, from a collection of portals to a collection of services coming to users, has been a tough one for eBay. From the takeover of Skype onwards, eBay has been trying hard to create more value, but still more changes are demanded.
John Donahoe, the incoming CEO, elaborated on eBay’s renewed focus in the coming years.
“With eBay and PayPal, we have more closed transaction data than anyone else on the Internet,” Mr. Donahoe said. “There is a lot of talk about Google’s relevance-based search,” he said referring to Google’s system of showing ads based on how often users click on them. EBay can use more information to provide better results, he said.
With PayPal, eBay sits atop one of the largest repositories of consumer data, and it will be interesting to watch how the firm copes with the personalized transitions on the Web.
eBay picks new CEO (LA Times)
eBay’s Meg Whitman to Step Down After a Decade as CEO (Tech Crunch)
eBay bids for a makeover (Financial Times)