Some quotes and other ramblings from the people in charge of eBay (2002-2014)

Here is something I stumbled across, it seems to be a collection of quotes and random ramblings from the people who run eBay. It has links, sources, and extracts to back up these claims, alot of time has gone into this article other the years with updates and loads of detail, you will need alot of time to read it. The article seems to go all the way back to 2002 and the last revision was 6/1/2014. You can see that the people who run eBay might as well be on another planet from there ramblings there seem very disconnected from reality, but we all knew that anyhow.

ebay ceo management quotes
“Not as described 1 x mind”


Mirror :

Some Classic Quotes from the eBay Executive Suite

“This company truly is built by the community of users.”—Meg Whitman (2003).…8204/index.htm

“It felt to me almost more like a movement than a business,”—Tom Tierney (2003).…he_machine.doc

“A monkey could drive this train”—Meg Whitman? (2003).…he_machine.doc

“Our best decisions have been the ones where we’ve seen where the community was going,”—Matt Bannick (2003).…he_machine.doc

“Some of our biggest mistakes occurred when we put on our consultant’s hats …”—Matt Bannick (2003).…he_machine.doc

“Man, we’ve got something special. Don’t screw it up.”—Maynard Webb (2003).…%20Machine.htm

“I use the Bain tool kit to frame strategy at eBay, every day.”—Meg Whitman.…p?profile_ID=5

“We [eBay] are just a venue, really. We’re sort of like the mall landlord or the owner of the parking lot where the flea market happens.”—Chris Donlay (27 March 2005)

“An innovation that is disruptive allows a whole new population of consumers access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill.”—Clayton Christensen.…nnovation.html

Some of the following quotes are from the transcript of John Donahoe’s lengthy, rambling, cretinous Legg Mason Forum presentation on 26 September 2007. Note the date: it indicates that Donahoe’s “three year turnaround” has been underway since prior to September 2007—therefore we are now entering the third of Chairman Ho’s three-year “Great Leap Backward” plans. Regrettably, just as in Mao’s case, there has been little forward progress.

The whole of this 2007 Forum transcript really should be required reading and re-reading (you will have to nail both of your feet to the floor) for anyone wanting to know the direction this headless turkey then said that he was going to take the eBay farmyard. But, I particularly like the accompanying photo of him, and you have to wonder why so many publishers appear to select such unflattering photos of the great man. Of course, once you have read the profound words of the “eBafia Don” you will understand why: they obviously recognise that this man is indeed a fool.…e/donahoe.html

“By using a real focus on the customer, we embarked on a series of fundamental changes that will ultimately span a three year period. We started by creating a future vision. This was critical because not everyone felt the impetus to change, given the amount of success we were experiencing. There’s a real push to keep doing what you’re doing because it’s working.”—John Donahoe (26 Sept 2007).
[Now, why would anyone, even a Bain & Co reject, not want to keep doing something that “was working”?]

“Now, the level playing field really means that the little player shouldn’t get shut out.”—John Donahoe (26 Sept 2007).
[Hmmm … is that so?]

“Historically, we focused a lot on our sellers because they’re the ones who pay our fees. But the buyer was someone we had lost sight of. We increased our focus on the buyer …”—John Donahoe (26 Sept 2007).

“We have such volume that many of our buyers said that there was too much abundance. They just want to buy a Nike watch and instead they get 12,000 results back. That’s too many. They want to get to what they want, faster. We agreed.”—John Donahoe (26 Sept 2007).

“We talk and listen to customers, but for this kind of innovation, customers don’t always know what they want.”—John Donahoe (26 Sept 2007).
[So, there you are, Johnny Ho knows better than you what you want.]

“Even though people think I’m an expert at technological innovation, my own instinct for technology was frozen in place in 1982.”—John Donahoe (Sept 2007).
[Now, who could have possibly thought that Donahoe was an expert in anything? Just because he habitually waves around the latest iPhone, he is “an expert at technological innovation”? LOL]

“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t even remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we’re having to disrupt the disruption.”—John Donahoe (26 Sept 2007).
[This can only be from another page from the Bain & Co Tool Kit.]

“Based on our experience, here’s how innovation at the core worked. We had to create a mind shift at our company—we had to think bold and not just incremental. We had to create a vision of the future so people could let go of a very successful past.”—John Donahoe (26 Sept 2007).
[Another bit of arrant nonsense that could only have come from yet another page from the Bain & Co Tool Kit.]

And that should be enough from the Legg Mason Forum presentation …

“And so we put the words out there, we are backing up our words with action, and yes, is there going to be some noise along the way? There is.”—John Donahoe (3 Feb 2008).…ear-in-review/

“We are driving more changes than ever. There are no silver bullets, we’re testing in different geos, when we find things that work, we’ll do more of them and less of the ones that don’t.”—John Donahoe (21 May 2008) ……n-live-bl.html

“There are times when I wish we can close this store and just open a new store, but we can’t.”—John Donahoe (11 October 2008).…nts.php?page=1

“A neutral is a negative because it isn’t a positive.”—Brian Burke (May 2008).…ew-what-a-mess ?

“PayPal is a technology and risk-assessment company, more than anything else. Our product development is done by engineers. They are all technology people who have a lot of talent, skills and capabilities in doing things with software.”—Scott Thompson (2008)…o-1642074.html
[“Risk assessment company”, “talent, skills”? Dream on Scotty.]

“… when it comes to Internet payments, he [Donahoe] anticipates that there will be only one winner and that PayPal will dominate. PayPal aims to enable consumers to shop where they want, when they want, in whatever format they want. Safely, reliably, and conveniently.”—John Donahoe, paraphrased (11 March 2009).…/#comment-9465
[Clearly, Chairman Ho is utterly delusional.]

“PayPal ‘rides on top of offline card and banking systems’ bringing them online in a flexible and safe way. He [Donahoe] described PayPal as a ‘hybrid financial institution and Internet company’ that is very hard for either financial institutions or Internet companies to replicate.”—John Donahoe, paraphrased (11 March 2009).…/#comment-9465
[Ah, amongst all the spin, at last an admission that PayPal is simply a parasite on the retail banks’ existing payments system; unfortunately, contrary to the Ho’s claims, the fact is, anything that PreyPal can do, the participating retail banks, via their partners Visa/Mastercard, could, and undoubtedly eventually will, do better. It’s only a matter of time.]

“… the ‘opportunity at PayPal is bigger than the opportunity at [the eBay] marketplace’ and [Donahoe] predicted that ‘PayPal will power e-commerce and become the leading online payment network.’”—John Donahoe, paraphrased (11 March 2009).…/#comment-9465
[Clearly, the “eBafia Don”, eBay’s Chief Headless Turkey, is still delusional.]

“[Thompson] stressed that PayPal is better than its competitors at risk management and preventing fraud. He explained that the ‘learning curve in fraud management is very steep, and very expensive’ and bragged that ‘PayPal has ten years battling fraudsters around the world’ and can help drive down fraud while simultaneously driving up sales because ‘we are better at separating the good guys from the bad.’”—Scott Thompson, paraphrased (11 March 2009).…/#comment-9465
[Thompson is clearly even more delusional than the Headless Ho.]

eBay/PayPal Global Law Enforcement Organization Mission: “To promote trust and protect our businesses by partnering with internal stakeholders and working with law enforcement and regulatory organizations proactively and reactively to support the prevention, detection and prosecution of criminal activity on the eBay and PayPal platforms.”—Tod Cohen (17 April 2009)…09+PRN20090417
[Now, pull the other leg, “Toddles” …]

“Now we had this auction business. We like it, it brings unique inventory and buyers. Our goal is to get auctions stable.”—John Donahoe (paraphrased, 10 Feb 2011).…9219.html/2/20
[Notice how the turkey quite accurately says “we had”, not “we have”, and “we like it [now]”, not “we liked it” … All part of turning around the turnaround, apparently.]

“PayPal will become bigger than eBay in the next 3-5 years”—John Donahoe, eBay Analyst Day, 10 February 2011…297309219.html
[Dream on Johnny Ho; then, at the rate he is misdirecting eBay, he may well be right …]

“… um … eBay is not a retailer … and we will never compete with our sellers … we don’t have the skills to be a retailer; we couldn’t begin to, ah, run a factory or warehouse or distribution center, ah, or manage a supply chain, um, ah, ah, you know, …”—John Donahoe (April? 2011).

“[PayPal is] not a debit card or payment network—it is a large merchant of sorts.”—PayPal, in letter to the US Fed (May? 2011).
[Now, how could I have possibly got the impression that PreyPal was a “payment network” or even a “bank”?]

The networks consider us a large merchant … We pay the same fees that merchants do—Sara Gorman, PayPal (May? 2011)
[One of the few truthful statements ever made by eBay/PayPal.]

“… and when they [eBay] saw a pick-up in spending from its current user base, it would begin to increase marketing.”—John Donahoe (~20 July 2011).…-ebay-anymore/
[Funny, I always thought that it was supposed to be the other way round: you do marketing to obtain or increase customer activity. Still, how could we simple peasants possibly compete with the combined knowledge base of all these cretinous sociopaths from Bain & Co.?]

“… we plan to extend PayPal’s capability to point of sale locations. We intend to help retailers grow their businesses offline in the same way we help merchants grow online around the world.”—John Donahoe (20 July 2011)…all-transcript
[“… help merchants grow online”? Really, I thought that eBay merchants were forced to offer PreyPal and, indeed, just the reverse it true: those captive eBay merchants helped grow PreyPal. But, frankly, the idea that, off eBay, the clunky PreyPal could ever hope to even minutely threaten the existing, proven, EFTPOS system or Visa/MasterCard at POS is simply ludicrous; particularly so as PreyPal, in the main, operates as no more than a merchant-middleman, parasite on those very same bank payments systems. If it’s PreyPal’s intention to simply hand out PreyPal “merchant accounts” to all those offline “merchants” that could not otherwise get a merchant account from their own bank, what can I say other than, “Beam me up Scotty.”]

“Scott’s departure was a surprise, but I wish Scott very, very well in his new role.”—John Donahoe (18 Jan 2012)…p=qanda&l=last
[Yeah, I’ll bet it was …]

“We have rebuilt the leadership teams across all of our businesses, including PayPal”—John Donahoe (18 Jan 2012)…p=qanda&l=last
[Wow, that was quick, Scott Thompson only left two weeks ago …]

“That’s not going to happen overnight. … we’re just getting started.”—John Donahoe (18 Jan 2012)…p=qanda&l=last
[That’s for sure, he’s then approaching the sixth year of his three-year turnaround of eBay!]

“… over the last 3 years, I’ve replaced 75 of the top 100 people in this company.”—John Donahoe (18 Jan 2012)…p=qanda&l=last
[Well, that probably explains much of the ongoing incompetence displayed by eBay …]

“There are a lot of people talking about mobile payments these days. PayPal is delivering on mobile payments.”—John Donahoe (27 April 2012)…ing-transcript
[Only in your hallucinations, Johnny Ho …]

“PayPal is going offline. In fact, PayPal’s getting pulled offline by large retailers.”—John Donahoe (27 April 2012)…ing-transcript
[Again, only in your hallucinations, Johnny Ho …]

“You’ve seen we’ve launched [PreyPal] directly into the point of sale at Home Depot”—John Donahoe (27 April 2012)…ing-transcript
[Ho, Ho, Ho, another of Johnny Ho’s hallucinations …]

“I could write a whole book on the systemic problems that existed throughout PayPal,’—PayPal’s Bill Scott (2013) …
[So, has anything yet changed, Bill?]

“I’ve never seen as many things broken, and a company still being successful. It was just kinda bizarre,”—PayPal’s Bill Scott (2013) ……al-to-save-it/

“You can’t change the culture nice and slow and gently, …You need a series of electric shocks. The more violent the better.”—David Marcus (2013) ……al-to-save-it/

“I’m blown away by Amazon; the scale of their ambition is breathtaking. The world isn’t going to be EBay or Amazon it will have both. They’re great and we’re great; and we can both be great.”—(Devin Wenig (30 April 2013)…cot-wingo.html
[Dream on, Devin]

“We’re proud of where we are but we’re not satisfied. We have loads of issues. I think there are a lot of basics that needed fixing – there are phases: Phase I – it was making the experience better for existing buyers; Phase II – is about innovation/new customers. We’re 1 year into this phase. It’s about how do we become the most important marketplace in the world. It’s about connecting new buyers to the marketplace. We’re bringing in new demographics, ages, geographies. Going forward: more innovative, bigger bets, pushing the break through the seller/buyer experience. We’re at 116 Million users. We want to roughly double that this year, and we think we will. They are younger, emerging markets. They skew more female which is great for fashion categories. …”—(Devin Wenig (30 April 2013)…cot-wingo.html
[Again, dream on, Devin]

“We’re testing a new user to eBay that’s never been to eBay should when they show up we only show them fixed price, brand new items from top-rated sellers. It’s a more familiar commerce experience and then as they learn eBay they get the wider experience …”—John Donahoe (30 May 2013)…pt?part=single
[Apart from the atrocious phraseology, John “Mobile, Mobile, Mobile” Donahoe it telling us he knows what we want even before we know ourselves; now, what do you think of that? How would he even know a new user if they aren’t logged in? Actually, all he’s really doing is desperately funneling views to his preferred sellers to try to keep them happy; I just never thought I would ever hear him admit to it …]

“The version that eBay will roll out sitewide is nowhere near the perfect fix eBay’s been looking for, I was told, but it is designed to allow the company to continue to launch and test iterations to see what works and what doesn’t. (eBay’s current mantra is, “test and learn,” something not reassuring to the test subjects!)”—…70438902.html/
[Ah, yes, still trying to work out what works best to direct searchers to eBay’s preferred sellers. What a shame it is that no matter how much they test, they never learn.]

“eBay’s goal is to treat search as a way to connect every shopper to the listings and sellers that are most interesting to them, as quickly and as painlessly as possible.” … “Shoppers should quickly see the results that they intend to see and/or want to see, rather than having to dig through results that don’t matter to them.” … “eBay is not focused on showing you, any other particular seller, or even any particular product to shoppers in response to a search. Instead, eBay wants to show every shopper the listings that are most likely to result in a completed sale with a high-satisfaction outcome.” … “eBay wants to create search results that simply make sense to buyers, that serve them well as customers, and that drive repeat business for eBay and eBay sellers over the long term. Buyers will see the items they’re most likely to actually buy, from sellers that are most likely to keep them coming back to eBay the next time around.”—Todd Alexander, Director of Onsite Search at (11 June 2013)…m#.UeBHTbV-9zl
[Ah, the Ouija board at work again …]

“To those experiencing decreased sales have you looked around the marketplace at what your competitors are doing? Do you review your prices in line with them to stay competitive? You can run listing analytics reports on your Seller Dashboard to see how often your items are showing in search and the sell-through rate is also shown versus the top performing items in your category, if they are not performing well it might be time to give listings fresh photographs or better descriptions. …”—eBay UK Forums Moderator (20 June 2013)…295?start=1080
[And this is the sort of advice eBay is going to offer “every leading retailer, brand and manufacturer across the world”…]

“Our ambition is to be the strategic partner of choice for every leading retailer, brand and manufacturer across the world, moving our relationship from the warehouse to the boardroom, and cementing our reputation as a company that is truly redefining commerce.”—(2013)…ager-ebay-jobs
[Donahoe is hallucinating, of course; then, we are all entitled to dream …]

“… eBay is recruiting Strategic Account Managers who will ‘proactively provide direction to the merchant on Search & Listing Optimization, marketing, inventory management, shipping economics, fulfillment strategy, improving the buyer experience, risk management, fraud, Trust & Safety policies, negative account actions, and other strategic and operational needs to ensure eBay store is optimised for sales growth.’”—…ager-ebay-jobs
[Too funny—LOL …]

“eBay expects sellers to consistently provide service that results in a high level of buyer satisfaction. This includes setting and meeting buyer expectations by providing excellent customer service from beginning to end.”—eBay Seller Performance Standards ……rformance.html
[By every measure, eBay consistently fails miserably the standards it sets for others …]

“… we have a great responsibility to keep funds safe and protected from the bad guys – no one does this at the scale we do, in the number of countries we operate in, dealing with the number of regulators we have.”—PayPal’s David Marcus (2013) ……he-paypal-way/
[Remembering always that whenever an eBay/PayPal spokesperson moves their lips, they are invariably being disingenuous.]

“We doubled down on creating beautiful products that leverage our technological leadership.”—PayPal’s David Marcus (2013) ……he-paypal-way/
[Dream on David, and best you take another look at the elephants in the room: “MasterPass” and “”]

“Customer First: The PayPal Way”—PayPal’s David Marcus (2013) ……he-paypal-way/
And is that not a truly frightening scenario, still …

“We’re tweaking our risk models to catch more sharks and less dolphins,”—eBay’s PayPal’s Anuj Nayar (2013) …
[If only it was at all practicable for such a clunky, parasitic operator to do so …]

“In general, Williams advised sellers who want to be successful with eBay search that they 1) need to be found in search; 2) have someone click on their item and 3) sell that item. …”—Hugh Williams (June 2013)
[Is it any wonder that Hugh is now retired from eBay “to spend more time with his family” …]

Frankly, statements such as those above attributed to John Donahoe could reasonably only be ascribed to an imbecile. Then, John Donahoe would, without question, have to be the most arrogant, ignorant, incompetent, narcissistic sociopath ever to be let loose on the corporate body of the world.

And, if you’ve not yet had enough, another great collection of inane Donahoe quotes at:…year-in-review

“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”—Anon …
Regrettably, John Donahoe’s capabilities appear to be limitless …

“Ignorance can be fixed, stupid is forever.”—Don Wood …
Clearly, John Donahoe’s condition is forever …

“Only the mediocre are always at their best”—Jean Giraudoux …
John Donahoe is indeed doing his best at eBay …

And, “The band continued to play on, even as the bow dipped lower and lower.”—The Titanic/eBay Story …

One comment

  1. A good read, thanks for posting it. I could spend days on it all. Like the comment that so many things are broken and they still doing well. Will come back and bite them in their arse one day, always does.

    “eBay expects sellers to consistently provide service that results in a high level of buyer satisfaction. This includes setting and meeting buyer expectations by providing excellent customer service from beginning to end.”

    Says it all really, I spent endless time creating technical support websites, printing and designing information sheets to help people, weeks of my time gone, though buyers expectations are they want a refund as they are too lazy to read anything, including reading what they are actually buying, and expect a replacement and a full refund. This is why I left ebay. We do all the work and we just loose money and get screwed over by ebay and the buyers.

    “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”

    Ebay have plenty of stupid that’s for sure. Screw over all the sellers who are the ones making their system work in the first place. Thats like going to the petrol station and shooting the guy whos allowing you to buy the fuel.

    “We’re proud of where we are but we’re not satisfied. We have loads of issues. I think there are a lot of basics that needed fixing”

    He “thinks” theres loads of issues that need fixing ?? Long term sellers closing shop each day and they still not noticed yet. Then they wonder why they didn’t meet their expect profit targets… maybe a link … maybe….??

    “… we have a great responsibility to keep funds safe and protected from the bad guys – no one does this at the scale we do, in the number of countries we operate in, dealing with the number of regulators we have.”

    eh who what ?! Money aint safe, make a sale, buyer moans about total BS and they take your money from you and give it back to the buyer, “no questions asked” so hows that keeping money safe ? Its more profitable for small time sellers NOT to sell anything on ebay. After all the time spent, money spent on stock, posting the stuff, dealing with questions, only to spend all day fighting disputes which loose you your money anyway. My business is way more profitable now than its ever been selling on ebay, and I dont sell anything now, go figure.

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