The eBay Shuffle

The big news of the day seemingly is eBay banning Google Checkout. Should that be a surprise? Not really – because that’s what competitors do. A sign of worry? Of course! But the real big news, is the big shake-ups going on in EBay’s management ranks, indicating that things are not hunky dory with the auction giant. The stock is down 5.3% of the day – no that is not because of Google Checkout being banned – because if that was the case then the stock would be moving North.

EBay’s management shuffle–which includes the departure of PayPal President Jeff Jordan–is leaving the industry a bit concerned. UBS Investment Research analyst Benjamin Schachter calls Jordan one of the company’s best and the departure “disconcerting.” EBay’s stock fell down over a dollar and a quarter at one point, or almost 4.5% on the news.

Jordan says he’s leaving to spend more time with his family. Rajiv Dutta, President of Skype and former eBay CFO, will take over for Jordan. Alex Kazin, an 8-year eBay veteran will take over for Dutta. UBS’s Schachter says Dutta switching from Skype to PayPal after just a few months on the job is eye-brow raising.

Skype Product Manager Lenn Pryor also said this week he is moving over to eBay to be the director of eBay Mobile, and of course has good things to say about his new home: “I can say without a doubt that they are some of the smartest, hard working, and forward thinking people in the business hands down. People underestimate them, and thats a great position to be in.”

A lot of talent has left eBay in recent times. There have been reports that many old timers weren’t too thrilled about the Skype deal. The reshuffling also makes you wonder about the bench strength of eBay. Dutta, for instance, has only been on the Skype job for a little bit – and here we go again!


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