EBay’s Chief Operating Officer To Step Aside

Online auction giant EBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) announced Monday that Brian Swette will step down as chief operating officer of the company, effective January 1st.

Instead of naming a new COO, Swette’s responsibilities in marketing, category management and business development will be divided among other top executives at the company, many of whom already work directly with EBay president and CEO Meg Whitman.

“Meg is confident that she has a deep bench,” company spokesperson Kevin Pursglove told the E-Commerce Times.

Those who will step into Swette’s shoes include EBay Technologies president Maynard Webb, EBay chief financial officer Rajiv Dutta, EBay U.S. senior vice president and general manager Jeff Jordan, EBay International senior vice president and general manager Matt Bannick, and EBay global marketing senior vice president Bill Cobb.

Cubic Measurements

Jordan, Bannick and Cobb have been a part of eBay’s executive management leadership team for several years, Pursglove said. Rather than having a major impact on the day to day operations of the company, the change is expected to be relatively smooth.

“Ours is a very function- and very goal-oriented business,” Pursglove told the E-Commerce Times. “Although Meg and Brian’s cubes are close together and they work hand and hand, the other executives have been working closely with Meg as well.”

Family Matters

According to EBay, Swette is yielding his COO duties in order to spend more time with his children who live in Florida.

Pursglove confirmed that Swette will be moving to Florida, but said that the former COO will maintain a residence and office in California, so he can continue with the San Jose-based company in his role as a senior advisor to Whitman.

Under the new title of vice president for corporate development, Swettewill manage the company’s marketing and sponsorship relationships.

No Problem

“I will continue to rely on Brian’s excellent advice,” Whitman said.

Analysts do not see the company in any sort of trouble. In fact, in recent studies, EBay led all e-commerce sites in traffic and it continues to be one of the few profitable Internet pure plays.

Although EBay’s stock closed at US$69.29 Monday, up $2.70, the Swette announcement was released after the close of trading. In after hours trading, the stock fell to $68.98.

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