ebay-organizational-structure

eBay Organizational Structure

eBay was until recently a multi-divisional (M-form) organization with semi-autonomous units grouped according to the services they provided. Today, eBay has a single division called Marketplace, which includes eBay and its international iterations.

eBay Origin Story

Founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb, the online marketplace now known as eBay became one of the earliest success stories on the internet. Two years after it launched, the platform sold its millionth item and an IPO soon followed in 1998.

While eBay’s premier online marketplace is now available in 180 countries, it’s important to mention that the company has also acquired various ancillary products and services over the years. These were once reflected in eBay’s organizational structure and served to streamline processes and management between the company and its subsidiaries. However, in recent times, the company has returned to its roots and its composition has changed accordingly.

So how is eBay structured, exactly? Let’s begin.

Multi-divisional operations

eBay was until recently a multi-divisional (M-form) organization. This meant that the company was split into several semi-autonomous units that were ultimately guided and controlled by headquarters.

eBay’s divisional units were grouped according to the services they provided and consisted of Marketplace, StubHub, Payments, and Classifieds.

Today, it is thought that a sole divisional unit remains:

  1. Marketplace – the most profitable division for the company which includes eBay.com and its various international sites.

As part of a move to focus on its C2C and B2C business, eBay either sold or spun-out companies across its other divisions between 2015 and 2020. 

Perhaps the most high-profile of these was PayPal, which became an independent company in 2015 after thirteen years as an eBay subsidiary. StubHub was also sold for $4.05 billion in 2019 and the entire Classifieds unit – which once included Craiglist and Kijiji – was divested in 2020.

Geographic divisions

In 2019, eBay announced it would be placing the company’s geographic divisions in a new structure under the leadership of Jay Lee, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Markets.

This new structure consists of the following regions:

  • Americas.
  • APAC (Asia-Pacific). 
  • UK.
  • Central and Southern Europe, and
  • Cross-Border Trade.

Leadership of function-based units

eBay has a hierarchical leadership structure with the current President and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Iannone at the helm. 

Before eBay divested most of its divisions, it was noted there that was a duplication of many management, administration, and staff activities.

Today, the company is smaller and arguably more efficient. Senior vice presidents manage the following functional areas for the company’s Marketplace division:

  • People.
  • eBay Europe.
  • Legal.
  • Growth.
  • Business and Strategy.
  • International.
  • Financial.
  • Technology, and
  • Product.

Board of Directors

eBay’s Board of Directors consists of 13 individuals who comprise four different committees:

  1. Audit Committee.
  2. Compensation & Human Capital Committee.
  3. Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee.
  4. Risk Committee.

Key takeaways:

  • eBay was until recently a multi-divisional (M-form) organization with semi-autonomous units grouped according to the services they provided. Today, eBay has a single division called Marketplace, which includes eBay and its international iterations.
  • In 2019, eBay announced it would be placing the company’s geographic divisions in a new structure under the command of SVP Jay Lee. 
  • eBay has a hierarchical leadership structure with various senior vice presidents in charge of function-based groups. There is also a 13-member Board of Directors responsible for audits, compensation, human capital, corporate governance, and risk.

Read Next: Organizational Structure.

Read Also: eBay Business Model.

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