eBay Q4 news – part I

January 23, 2008

I have to say I’m a little nervous about JD’s focus being spread thin.  Right now he’s 100% eBay marketplace focused – putting Skype and Paypal on his plate has to be dilutive.  Even if it’s 10% of his time, that’s a decrease.

Meg and JD were just on CNBC – my notes:

  • Meg – Why step down?
  • CEOS in our industry with constant technology changes, need fresh set of eyes and new vision, turning eBay over to JD
  • Staying on board, why not staying longer?
    • Been here 10yrs, stay on board and provide input
  • Meg, what’s next?
    • Available to JD and company, take time off and rest, been thrilling 10yrs
  • Why JD?
    • Knows biz, learned biz, has great new perspective
  • JD – what is your fresh perspective?
    • eBay is a great co, created a foundation, leader in ecomm, comm and payments
    • No doubt inet is changing rapidly, buyer and seller expectations are rising
    • Focus is to build on the
    • Easier and safer place to shop
    • Increase focus on fixed-price biz along side auction biz
    • Grow paypal
  • Your outlook is light, did it reflect economy? Investors responding negatively
    • JD – eBay offers a good value prop in good and bad times
    • Our guidance has a plan with flexibility to improve eBay in 08 (smart IMO)
  • What’s that mean?  You spending more?
    • JD – Yes we will be making changes to pricing (Fees!)
    • Trust and safety
    • customer support
    • Make eBay safer and easier place to shop, allow Paypal to grow
    • MW – We’ve setup a host of experiments to see how the ecosystem responds, feedback, pricing and product that go as planned.
  • So you’re being conservative?
    • JD – theme of 08 is focusing on users and customers
    • Build loyalty
    • MW – I haven’t let JD be conservative in last 12 months
  • You are always one of the top female execs, did you think of female successor?
    • Lots of women at eBay – said list I missed (Lorrie Northington, someone new to run USA? does that mean cobb is moving?  Hold, let me research).

The conference call will start at 5pm, I suggest you give it a listen as this one is going to be somewhat historic.