eBay announces layoffs of thousands of staff, cites ‘external pressures’

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By Carina

On January 23, eBay, a leader in e-commerce, disclosed its plan to lay off 1,000 full-time staff, attributing the decision to “external pressures” and a “challenging macroeconomic environment.” 

This announcement was first made internally by CEO Jamie Iannone and later shared on the company’s official website. 

eBay’s restructuring strategy for long-term growth

The layoffs, affecting roughly 9% of the company’s full-time workforce, are described by Iannone as a crucial step in eBay’s plan for “long-term, sustainable growth.”

Iannone explained that the restructuring aims to enhance eBay’s organizational efficiency and agility. He emphasized the need to reorganize teams for quicker decision-making and adaptability. 

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The move, according to the CEO, is a response to the company’s expenses outpacing its business growth, necessitating changes to improve the customer experience globally. 

Iannone acknowledged the problematic nature of these decisions, recognizing their impact on eBay’s community and culture.

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eBay’s employee notification and support plan

The company plans to begin notifying affected employees via Zoom, with a consultation process to follow where required. 

In a gesture of sensitivity, Iannone requested all U.S.-based full-time employees to work from home on January 24, providing privacy for these difficult conversations. 

He affirmed eBay’s commitment to respect and empathy during this transition, promising support and resources to those impacted. 

Additionally, eBay intends to reduce contracts with its “alternate workforce,” though specific numbers on affected contractors were not disclosed.

Tech industry layoffs: eBay, Amazon, Google, and more

eBay’s job cuts are part of a broader trend of layoffs in the tech industry. This month, Amazon announced the release of numerous employees across Prime Video, MGM Studios, and Twitch. 

Google also reported significant job cuts, including at YouTube, citing “responsible investing” efforts. 

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According to layoffs.fyi, 73 tech companies have laid off over 13,000 employees in 2024 alone.

Despite reporting $2.5 billion in revenue and $1.3 billion in net income in the last quarter of 2023, eBay’s CFO Steve Priest acknowledged the need to adapt to the dynamic macroenvironment. 

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eBay CEO emphasizes necessity for change amid layoffs

Iannone, in his notice, underscored the necessity for change at the online retailer. He expressed confidence in eBay’s future, envisioning a more focused, agile, and responsive organization.

The latest round of layoffs follows a previous reduction of 500 global employees by eBay, accounting for about 4% of its total workforce. 

Over the past 12 months, eBay’s stock has seen an 11.3% decline, reflecting the challenges faced by the company in a fluctuating economic landscape.

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