Posts tagged “Meg Whitman”.

Well Whaddya Know?

I guess if you aren’t an eBay insider or e-comfortable it is easy to get confused.

I can tell you that Pierre was surprised, see for yourself:

There is a short news video clip (scroll down) and I found the most amusing part of it to be Meg’s face.

Personally I have always believed Keith Ferrazzi who said that to be credible “the first prerequisite is deep familiarity and facility with your subject matter.” On the other hand maybe Ferrazzi Greenlights mission and values aren’t a good fit in this case.

Y’all come back!

Dowager Queen Speaks

I do not in any way subscribe to Queen Meg’s political views nor do I endorse them. I found her remarks interesting as the viewpoint of the $38 million plus (this year to date) former CEO of eBay Inc.

MEG WHITMAN: Good evening and thank you for your kind welcome.

It’s an enormous privilege to speak to you tonight. As a young girl growing up on Long Island, as a wife and mother who raised two boys in my beautiful home state of California, and even as President and CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I never dreamed I’d have the honor of speaking to my fellow Americans at such a critical moment in our nation’s history.

When I was growing up, opportunities for women were still limited.

When I went to college and graduate school, I lived in environments that had just recently admitted women, and were still getting used to having us around.

And when I began my business career, female executives were still a novelty.

Many of our male colleagues questioned whether we’d make it. But my parents, especially my mom, inspired me.

She’d constantly remind me that I could be anything I wanted to be, I just had to earn it.

Mom believed in me, as any mother does.

She also believed in America.

She knew if I worked hard and delivered the results, I would succeed in this remarkable nation.

And so, from an early age, I was an optimist about America.

America is a nation fueled by freedom, with an abiding sense of justice and fairness, guided by the spirit that we should all have the opportunity to achieve our greatest dreams.

And I am a Republican because our party understands that America’s success - the success of her people - comes not from the size of its government, but from the character of its citizens… the strength of its communities… and the nobility and truth of its ideals.

Tonight delegates from this convention will choose our nominee.

We are proudly the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan - and today, we are proudly the party of John McCain.

I’ve known Senator McCain for several years.

And the more I’ve gotten to know John, the more my admiration for him has grown.

John’s pride in America and his belief in its spirit are electrifying.

And I can say with certainty that when he’s sitting in the Oval Office - in every decision he makes - President McCain will put his country first.

For John, putting country first is the calling of a lifetime.

He lives by a code of honor unmatched by anyone in American politics.

And on the most important duty we place on a president - John is more prepared to lead than any person in America.

America faces enormous challenges abroad - but we also face great challenges here at home.

It would be foolish to deny what we all know to be true.

Our economy is struggling and Americans are hurting. We live in a time of economic anxiety and hardships.

The cost of everything from gasoline to groceries to health care has gone up, while the value of our homes and our investments has gone down.

Mortgages once thought to be safe are now threatened, and industries that were once strong are now dying. Since John began his campaign he’s heard the concern in your voices and your stories - the stories of hardworking Americans who believe that politicians are out of touch and out of ideas. That may be true of some politicians … but it’s not true of John McCain. John’s a different breed.

He understands hardship in a way that few of us have ever known.

And, as he has shown this week in supporting the great people of the Gulf States, he has a unique ability to identify with those who face their own struggles.

Most important of all, Senator McCain and Governor Sarah Palin - the real agents of change in this campaign - have solutions for the challenges we face.

In its first 100 days, a McCain administration will put this nation on a path toward energy independence.

John is a man with extraordinary determination - and he will use that quality to push relentlessly for the right energy policies - from lifting the ban on off-shore drilling, to building more nuclear reactors, to promoting conservation and alternative forms of energy.

Energy independence will stop massive amounts of money from going to our enemies abroad; it will lower gas prices at home; and it will reduce the harm to our planet’s climate.

Energy independence must be our generation’s moon shot - and John McCain and Sarah Palin will lead us in that historic effort.

Senator McCain and Governor Palin will also lead us in another vital effort: lowering your taxes.

In his first 100 days in office, they will put forward proposals to double the size of the child tax exemption, putting more money in your pockets.

They will push Congress to reduce business taxes, so that entrepreneurs and especially small business have the money they need to expand and create jobs.

They will offer tax incentives to every individual and family in America to buy health insurance.

And John McCain and Sarah Palin will simplify our mind-numbing tax code, so that filling out your taxes is not a dreaded annual nightmare.

Our Democratic opponents view raising taxes as the measure of their compassion and fairness.

John understands the truth.

Higher taxes encourage wasteful spending, demonstrate government’s inability to choose among competing priorities, and destroy your prosperity.

As President, John McCain will be guided by the simple beliefs that having worked long hours to earn your money, you should keep more of it; and that government shouldn’t spend more than it takes in.

The same kind of frank, common-sense conversations every American family has - about the need to balance the check-book, living within your means, and tightening the belt during hard times - are the conversations John will have with Members of Congress.

Now, Republicans know that John’s solutions rest on a set of principles that are true and tested and enduring.

Foremost among them is his belief that there is no challenge that cannot be overcome by individual freedom.

Government has a vital role to play in the life of our country. And it should be effective and efficient in meeting those fundamental responsibilities.

But Republicans understand that government does not create wealth or prosperity - individuals do.

America is all about the inspired individual - men and women who are free to pursue dreams and ambitions in a society that encourages creativity, industry, advancement, and risk taking.

John McCain doesn’t want to tax success and achievement, he wants to encourage it.

He doesn’t want to redistribute our national wealth, he wants to increase it.

He doesn’t want more big government, he wants much more self-government.

John McCain understands that you know what’s best for your money, your family, your community, and your life.

John’s principles run like a golden thread throughout our history.

This has made America’s story the greatest and proudest and most hopeful of any in history.

Make no mistake - Americans today face tough challenges.

Sometimes there is a temptation for us, having borne freedom’s burden for so long, to grow tired.

But when Americans have faced their greatest hardships, they have written history’s greatest chapters.

We’re going to do so again.

The solutions to the problems of our time are found in the ingenuity, spirit, determination, and decency of the American people.

All we need is a leader who recognizes this and who can, by virtue of his character and his love of country, call us to do
great things.

When the American people cast their vote for the candidate they believe can best protect our nation, restore our standing in the world, and expand prosperity and opportunity to every willing heart, they will do as they have done in the past - they will put country first.

A Message From Australia on Change at eBay

“To me, the biggest change in connection with eBay this year…”

Hmmm, yes, it really is only this year. It feels like half of the ten and a half year period that I have been on eBay, but it really is only this year. There have been adversarial issues in the past, but nothing that prepared eBay’s actual clientele for the treatment they have gotten this year. I am sure that there were cheers from some sellers when it was announced that Meg Whitman was departing from the eBay corporate structure, but I suspect most of those who were cheering would welcome her back with open arms if she returned to eBay now - assuming of course that those who were alert enough to the issues that Ms Whitman presented, have persisted with eBay this far since.

Some of the shifts are downright bizarre in the business sense. It is one thing to accept that there is a need to keep buyers happy so that they will return to the site and spend money and keep the wheels of commerce turning, but this years shifts in attitude, have created an illogical aura that the buyer is eBay’s customer, and the seller is a supplier who is not to be trusted even though they are the ones who pay eBay’s bottom line from all angles. PayPal is free to buyers, the so-called “protection” insurance scam is free to buyers, and of course the sellers (rightly) pay the listing fees and commissions for the items they sell, but sellers who attempt to pass on their costs and fees at any point in the transaction are now to be held in contempt (even though the majority of buyers actually see through the flaws in this logic).

Sellers are now the enemy in eBay’s eyes, and in order to stop off-site sales and to increase the use of PayPal, eBay is attempting to convince the buyers of this. If they succeed, though, why would buyers return to eBay at all?

So the eBay seller is now an outcast in their own marketplace. The current and recent changes have removed everything intuitive from the search engine on eBay, and punishes sellers for having the audacity to try to build a profit margin into their business, while eBay itself steadily increases the fee structures imposed on sellers. My own business is probably paying at least 25% more in fees this year to eBay, through the listing fee “reductions” and “free” gallery adjustments at the beginning of the year on the USA site, and through the enforced acceptance of PayPal on the Australian site, add to this the steadily increasing postage costs and the inescapable increases in fuel costs which both affect every eBay business but are beyond eBay’s scope and control, and I am thankful that I sell old and unusual items which create auction competition and a decent profit margin - I don’t know how anyone can “retail” new stock on eBay. At the same time as eBay reaps their increased fees though, they are “rewarding” and “incenting” sellers to REDUCE their prices and offer free shipping - those who don’t are punished through poor search exposure and are effectively being labeled greedy and arrogant by, umm, the greedy and arrogant.

The change has been constant and relentless this year for both eBay’s customers, and those who buy on the site. Buyers I speak to in person complain of constantly having to relearn how to use the site, how unnecessary most of the change seems, and some reduce the amount they use the site for these reasons. Having to re-adjust each time you buy is just hard work, and becomes hard to justify when it is so constant. Everything that made this marketplace work is being interfered with, and yet the marketplace still works in spite of the way that eBay manages it and interferes with it. How this business model can survive though is beyond me, other than it’s mere market dominance meaning that it continues to steamroll through eBay’s section of the overall marketplace, replacing it’s cast off sellers and buyers at a fairly steady rate. In doing so though, even if it remains a place of commerce that is viable to some, eBay has trashed it’s brand beyond recognition this year. Sellers like me continue because, at this stage, it is still viable for my own business model and lifestyle, but any sense of loyalty that I had to eBay has been killed this year. I have plans loosely in place so that I can walk away from the site as soon as it is either nonviable, or I am squeezed out overnight by either policy changes or just waking to find that I am not a registered user. So be it.

Ranting yet again, Kevin

Pulling Levers on eBay

There is a whole lotta trading going on. eBay opened at $27.01 this morning down from $27.33 at close last night. Trading has ranged between $26.97 and $27.48 today.

Last year Ina Steiner at AuctionBytes wrote about eBay’s slot machine venture. Licensing the eBay name for one-armed bandits was not out of character for former CEO Meg Whitman who was fond of pulling levers as needed to tweak eBay performance at strategic moments.

As eBay’s remaining sellers, overwhelmed by the recent avalanche of changes without clear guidelines or implementation dates pull listings for revision to avoid arbitrary suspension, eBay is wildly pulling levers.

Scott Wingo blogged on eBayStrategies last month about “copious couponing” with eBay Bucks plus cash back offers from PayPal and Microsoft’s Live search engine. This was followed by a double discount eBay Bucks coupon.

Today UK sellers received notification of a two week 1st July to 15th July 2008 inclusive *one penny per listing* offer from, limited to businesses listing in technology categories. Another offering for our brethren across the pond says:

Push the frontiers of your eBay business with this by-invitation-only special for selected sellers. If you’re a verified PayPal user and have never listed in the US, say howdy to the exciting marketplace with US$0.10 insertion fees on Auction and Fixed Price listings.


In my search for references I came across this delightfully nostalgic puff piece from U.S. News and World Report published Halloween 2005. The article contained these quotes:

From the article; First, she realizes she can’t control eBay’s community of buyers and sellers, because they don’t report to her and if they’re dissatisfied, they don’t have to show up for “work.”… Anthony Noto, at Goldman Sachs “The eBay community is a democratic state … and from Meg “Don’t assume you know more than the marketplace or community–because you don’t.”

As my friend Ed says “Are they feeling the squeeze of the seller exodus?” Seems to me there might be some subtle messages for John Donohoe in those quotes up above.

Y’all come back