Walmart Executive Iannone nabs top job at eBay

Walmart-Executive-Iannone-nabs-top-job-at-Ebay

As eBay Inc. picks Walmart executive Jamie Iannone as its new CEO, curiosity peaks those who are skeptical about the online retailing giant’s verdict.

According to Reuters, U.S. E-commerce giant eBay Inc. has picked a new boss to oversee and ‘fix’ the current state of their online marketplace on Monday. Jamie Iannone, who was the former Operating Chief at Walmart, will take up the position as eBay’s new Chief Executive Officer on April 27.

Before Walmart, Iannone was the retailer’s CEO of SamsClub.com, where he succeeded in bringing forth a significant transformation to the store’s digital offerings. As the successor of eBay’s Scott Schenkel, Iannone brings a lot of promise and potential to the company.

After Reuters released the report, eBay shares have gone up two percent.

New CEO arrives at a pivotal moment

Questions have been raised on what provoked eBay to make such a decision. Analysts say that it may be related to the demands expressed by investor Starboard Value a month before the said appointment.  

It is found that eBay has been suffering years of underperforming sales growth. Although the company was the country’s e-commerce pioneer, it was overshadowed by Amazon.com Inc., which dominated the U.S. market. Pushing for change, activist investor Starboard Value encouraged eBay to take a step forward.

Reportedly, the said investor who owns more than 1% of eBay’s stock had plans of installing four directors on eBay’s board. Additionally, the hedge fund asked for the online retailing giant to appoint an outsider who is an industry veteran as its permanent CEO.

Iannone qualifies as he has been known to deliver high growth despite industry disruption, changes in consumer behavior and preferences, and technological advancements. Impressed by his consistently strong record on innovation and transformation, the board believes that Iannone is the ideal leader of eBay’s next chapter of success in e-commerce.

What business analysts say about the appointment

Despite the high hopes expressed by the board, some business analysts are skeptical about hiring an external employee, and refer to the new CEO as “the black swan.” This may be due to some setbacks in hiring externally, such as having a limited understanding of the company or the risks associated with such a transition.

Other analysts say this does not apply to Iannone as he previously worked for eBay in top- and middle- management roles.

Meanwhile, Iannone expressed in a statement, “I believe the company has tremendous opportunities to capitalize on eBay’s foundation, innovate for the future and grow its ecosystem,” hinting that he is already formulating a new game plan.   

 

Feature image used courtesy of RockstarFlipper/Youtube Screenshot.

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