Activist Investors Push Out eBay CEO Devin Wenig

CEO cites disagreements with his board as activist pressures intensify

Activist investors have pushed out CEO Devin Wenig. In a Tweet marked Wednesday, Wenig cited disagreements with fellow board members over the company’s future.

“In the past few weeks it became clear that I was not on the same page as my new Board,” he wrote. “Whenever that happens, it’s best for everyone to turn that page over.”

Activist Investors Push for Change

Earlier this year, eBay reshuffled its board. In March, Jesse Cohn, the head of Elliott’s activism practice, joined the board of directors. So did Marvell Technology CEO and Starboard Value nominee Matt Murphy.

It also announced plans to explore strategic alternatives of Stubhub and other properties like eBay Classifieds. Activist investors Starboard Value and Elliott Management Corp. had pushed for changes as the firm faces increased competition.

CNBC reported that a disagreement over the future of the firm’s Classifieds business fueled Wenig’s departure from the firm.

The news comes at an interesting time for eBay. Although rivals like Amazon, Walmart, and Etsy have seen strong success in the e-commerce market eBay stock was up 40% during Wenig’s tenure.

Wenig’s tenure has centered on the expansion of product listings and its payments business.

New Leadership Search Underway

eBay board Chairman Thomas Tierney issued a statement on Wednesday.

“Given a number of considerations, both Devin and the Board believe that a new CEO is best for the Company at this time,” he said.

The firm will begin a search for a new CEO immediately. Meanwhile, the firm has named Andy Cring, VP of Global Financial Planning and Analysis, to the role of interim Chief Financial Officer.

These aren’t the only campaigns launched by Elliott and Starboard.

Elliott recently took a stake in AT&T and pushed for the sale of assets like DirecTV. It has also instructed Marathon Oil to break up into three firms.

Meanwhile, Starboard recently took a stake in cloud storage firm Box and fueled leadership changes at Papa John’s International.

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