eBay Leadership

By John Dudovskiy
September 19, 2016

ebay-leadershipeBay leadership at the most senior position has been assumed by only four people since its establishment in 1995 by 28-year-old Pierre Omidyar. By June 1996 the company had USD10,000 in monthly revenues and its first employee and it secured a multi-million dollar round of venture capital funding the next year.[1]

Aware of his entrepreneurial and leadership limits, Omidyar brought in Meg Whitman who oversaw IPO, international expansion, numerous acquisitions including PayPal, and several well-publicized site crashes. Meg Whitman stepped down as eBay CEO and President to run for the office of the Governor of California in 2008 and eBay leadership was assumed by John Donahoe.

During the times he was in charge, Donahoe was seen as effective leader and turnaround manager. He was against the split of PayPal from eBay and unable to prevent the split, Donahoe had to step down on July 2015. It has been noted that “the changes implemented during John Donahoe’s tenure have proven to be controversial as shifts in rules and fees structures and an increased orientation toward high-volume, fixed-price retail channel selling have alienated portions of eBay’s traditional community even as the competitive landscape around eBay stiffens”[2]

Today, Devin Wenig is the President and CEO of eBay Inc. and the executive leadership team comprises 13 members.  There are 11 members in the Board of Directors comprises 11 members, including eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The role of the Chairman of the Board is currently held by Thomas J. Tierney.

 Currently, eBay leadership is faced with a challenge of declining business growth. During 2015 – 2016 holiday season “sales grew an estimated 4.8 percent, which is way below the 13.3 percent typical for ecommerce companies”[3]

The leadership of Devin Wenig can be criticized for the lack of clear strategy and competitive advantage for eBay. Plans for the business announced by Wenig early in 2016 are nothing more than replication of Amazon strategy, except the replication of Amazon’s delivery system.

eBay Inc. Report constitutes a comprehensive analysis of eBay business strategy. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis and McKinsey 7S Model on eBay. Moreover, the report contains analyses of eBay’s marketing strategy and discusses the issues of corporate social responsibility.


[1] Gunderson, A. (2009) “The Great Leaders Series: Pierre Omidyar of eBay” Inc. Available at: http://www.inc.com/30years/articles/pierre-omidyar.html

[2] Hsiao, A. (2016) “A Profile of eBay’s Corporate StructureThe Balance, Available at: https://www.thebalance.com/a-profile-of-ebay-s-corporate-structure-1139899

[3] Froelings, L. (2016) “eBay Plans to Challenge Amazon, Announces Turnaround Strategy” Small Business Trends, Available at: http://smallbiztrends.com/2016/02/ebay-turnaround-challenge-amazon.html

Category: Leadership