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EBay has stripped its German subsidiary of its functions marketing and auction platform management and relocated them to Basel, Switzerland and London, a company spokesman said. This is part of a restructuring process which will see 8 percent (about 100) of the 1,250 employees at the EBay head office in Berlin lose their jobs. The job cuts will be restricted to the administrative division, he said.

Germany is EBay’s single biggest market outside the U.S. It is not known how successful EBay Germany is financially, since EBay does not disclose country performances.

According to the spokesman, “Berlin will remain an important head office.” Client support will remain in Berlin and so will Germany’s biggest automotive platform Mobile.de with its roughly 100 staff, he said.

The functions marketing and auction platform management will be rebuilt from scratch in Bern and London. At this stage, it’s not clear yet whether employees will be relocated from Berlin to Bern and London.  

According to media blogger Holger Schmidt, the jobs of EBay Germany managing director Stefan Gross-Selbeck and auction-platform head Frerk-Malte Feller might also be on the line. A company spokesman said Gross-Selbeck and Feller will help with the restructuring. “What they’ll do afterwards, was still uncertain.”

Top management at EBay head office in Berlin has been very unstable (compared to the norm in Germany) in the past 12 months, with Harald Eisenächer and Patrick Boos being appointed to senior positions and then vacating the positions a few months later.    

Schmidt wrote EBay CEO John Donahoe’s decision to strip country subsidiaries of vital competencies was a reaction to “declining growth rates and growing competition from other internet retailers, such as Amazon, at these subsidiaries.”


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