I’ve been pretty vocal that while the recent eBay changes are in the right direction, I don’t think they nailing the top 20 priorities. Everyone always asks, what do you think the top priorities are? My answer for the last 2yrs+ has been: search, search, search, search.
- First, Jamie Iannone, eBay’s VP of Search, has been hired by Barnes and Noble to run their ecommerce group. This seems to have caused a cascade effect.
- I’ve met Jamie numerous times and was a big fan. He was the driving force behind eBay Express which I actually think we will see eBay turn into slowly over the next couple of years. It’s a loss to eBay to see him go, but like many larger companies, sometimes its hard to have the kind of impact you want to as your tenure increases and I’m sure he’s looking forward to a new opportunity – I wish him the best of luck at Barnes and Noble.
- Second, news has leaked out that Hugh Williams has joined eBay as VP of Search to backfill Iannone. Hugh was a Partner (MSFT for ‘very senior’) developer manager of a piece of the new Bing search engine at Microsoft. Hugh is an Aussie that appears to have been pretty darn active as there’s a good bit of information out there about him online. For those that want to learn more about the new grand pooba of eBay search:
- Linkedin profile is here
- Facebook is here
- Twitter is here – twitter.com/hughewilliams
- He has co-authored two books – both about mysql – wonder how he will like the eBay massive oracle infrastructure?
- You have to keep an eye on these book authors – lots of hot air 😉
- His personal website is here
- CV/Resume is here
- Here’s a podcast of him talking about Live/Bing.
- And for my uber-geek readers, here’s an ACM paper he wrote on the efficient online index maintenance for contiguous inverted lists (I was wondering about this problem just the other day 😉
- He’s in this microsoft research video.
The bottom line is there’s a new sheriff in town for eBay Search and it will be interesting to see what kind of impact he has going forward. Also, is it too little too late?