Monday, November 20, 2006

ON THE RECORD: MEG WHITMAN

I came across this article while checking out Ina Steiner's Auctionbytes blog. It's a good interview with eBay's Chief Exec. Just a couple of points to make regarding her comments:

"Q: Even absent this problem, Wall Street has been increasingly skeptical about eBay's growth outlook. What is it like being in charge of a company when Wall Street is applying so much pressure?

A: What we do is focus on the company's strategy and try to fulfill the purpose we have. We help people be successful doing what they love.

Then, we try to make sure that we have the right strategy, that we are executing against that strategy and we have the right people in the right job at the right time.

You need to do more of that when the external world is not going as you had hoped. Fundamentally we run the company the same.

Q: Even if Wall Street is complaining, you don't care?

A: We care because they are absolutely a stakeholder. We want to make sure we understand what their issues are and we try to explain our point of view if we think it's different. "


First, regarding her comment about sellers. "We help people be successful doing what they love." There is a problem with this statement. There is a growing disconnect between eBay and it's sellers for this statement to be true eBay needs to address this immediately. A large number of sellers would say eBay’s first priority is Wall Street. In regards to Wall Street complaining she says "We care because they are absolutely a stakeholder. We want to make sure we understand what their issues are and we try to explain our point of view if we think it's different.

This is a valid response but eBay must realize there is another stakeholder involved. The Seller! Often times the investor and the Seller have opposing views but eBay, in my view needs to grant equal weight to each opinion. It’s a tough balancing act but if too much weight is given to either side the marketplace will suffer.

2 comments:

bonni said...

"What we do is focus on the company's strategy and try to fulfill the purpose we have"

Does that actually, you know, MEAN anything? Looks like a lot of boardroom babble without much substance.

Kinda sums eBay up, actually.

Randy Smythe said...

eBay listens to large investors because if the stock sinks eBay loses billions of dollars in Market Cap.

eBay does not listen to sellers because even if the biggest sellers go away it does not affect their bottom line.