EBay has named Jamie Iannone, a former e-commerce executive at Walmart, as its next CEO. 

Jamie Iannone, CEO of EBay

Before joining EBay, Iannone (LinkedIn profile) was CEO of SamsClub.com, the online face of Walmart’s membership-based discount retailer. He was “responsible for the unit’s digital transformation, including developing and executing initiatives in membership, marketing, technology, product and operations,” according to a news release.

Just last month, Walmart announced that Iannone had been named COO of Walmart ECommerce, a decision that has turned out to be short-lived. Iannone starts at EBay on April 27.

Iannone will replace Scott Schenkel, who has led EBay on an interim basis since Devin Wenig stepped down last September amid disagreements with the board of directors.

Since early 2019, activist investors Elliott Management and Starboard Value have been pushing EBay management to boost shareholder returns by improving its main marketplace and selling off non-core properties.

In February, EBay sold its ticket reselling site, StubHub, for $4.05 billion to Swiss online ticket marketplace Viagogo. Since then, Elliot and Starboard have focused on encouraging the company to divest from the EBay Classified Group, which comprises 10 international titles. Elliott estimated the sale could net between $8 billion and $12 billion.

Starboard Value has led the charge more recently, and last month issued a letter complaining about slow progress on the classifieds divestment. The letter also demanded that EBay hire a permanent CEO from outside the company to replace Schenkel, who’s been with the company since 2007.

Starboard Value also nominated four candidates to stand in EBay’s next board election, currently scheduled for July. 

Although Iannone was an external hire, he spent eight years at EBay between 2001 and 2009 in various executive roles. During that time, he started EBay’s first product marketing team, led buyer experiences and oversaw tailored shopping experiences.

His other experience includes stints at management consultancy firm Booz Allen Hamilton and books retailer Barnes & Noble.

The hiring statement made no direct reference to the classifieds, but Iannone is quoted as saying, “EBay’s success has always been rooted in its robust c-to-c platform.”

EBay’s main platform is b-to-c as well as c-to-c, while its classifieds properties are more pure examples of c-to-c marketplaces.

The hiring statement notes that the CEO search considered both external and internal candidates and that the search committee included Matt Murphy, the CEO of Marvell Tech and an EBay board member. Murphy was nominated for the seat by Starboard Value.

Iannone’s appointment was unanimously approved by the full board, according to the hiring statement. 

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