Thursday, November 29, 2007

eBay Promotes Michael Linton to Replace Gary Briggs

According to Advertising Age, Michael Linton will be replacing the departing Gary Briggs as eBay's CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)

"Mr. Linton, 50, a former CMO at Best Buy, has been with eBay for about a year as senior VP-marketplace adjacencies, heading eBay Motors,, eBay Canada, eBay Stores and ProStores. He replaces Gary Briggs, 44, who said he is leaving eBay after six years to spend more time with his family. "I have the opportunity to go and be a dad," Mr. Briggs said"

Wow! This is big news and an indicator of eBay's future direction. Linton understands retail and I believe will be very effective in changing the focus of eBay's marketing efforts. My guess is that the last several ad campaigns managed by Briggs have not been effective and eBay Senior Managers want to go a different direction. I wonder if an Ad Agency change is in the works as well.

I was very harsh in my criticism of eBay's "Shop Victoriously" campaign and I see this as a sign that it was unsuccessful. I would like to wish Gary Briggs well in his future endeavors and I look forward to the direction eBay will be taking with Michael Linton as CMO.

I think this is a big positive for eBay buyers and sellers.

Update: I have been told that I may be reading too much into this move and that it does not really signal a change in direction. I guess only time will tell.


Anonymous said...

okay great. I do not agree with you. The campaigns are great!

Randy Smythe said...

That's why I have a comment section on the blog so readers can let me know what they think.

I've see so many great commercials that the eBay "Shop Victoriously" ads pale in comparison but that is my opinion, we still don't know after nearly 4 months how effective they have been.

I'm sure many other share your opinion.

Compare the eBay campaign to the Apple/PC Guy campaign, multiple Geico campaigns, MasterCard, Capital One, even the early eBay Do IT eBay spots.

Anonymous said...

Not at all sure that there will be any noticeable change of direction. Briggs was an analytical powerhouse with strong consumer skills. Not sure of the results of the newest campaign, but that surely was not the reason for this change of CMO.

Whitman really likes Linton. Will be interesting to see how long she keeps him. While Linton was at Best Buy, consultants hired to help the marketing effort were told by Linton's subordinates to 'dumb the presentations down'; Linton was not able to comprehend them fully. With eBay being so analytically-driven, it is not a given that Linton will be able to keep up and add value. Ask Best Buy if they miss Linton.

Randy Smythe said...

Thanks for the info. I was told that Linton was brought in a year earlier to get acclimated to eBay and that Meg had planned to make this move.

I would agree that this doesn't change any marketing focus.

It will be interesting to see if eBay shops the account to another agency. I'm not quite sure who should be blamed for the "Shop Victoriosly" campaign, Windorphins and the previous years Express Campaign but Briggs was CMO and he approved each of these.

If it was up to me they would find a new agency.

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