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EBay CEO Devin Wenig Reacts to Election Results

EBay CEO Devin Wenig Reacts to Election Results

EBay's CEO sent a memo to its global staff discussing the election results, acknowledging that the election was "emotionally charged," and emphasizing eBay's commitment to global diversity, as reported by recode.  Wenig highlighted that eBay was founded by "by an immigrant to the US.  Pierre built our business on the belief that people are basically good, and this enduring heritage is one of the reasons I’m proud to lead this company."  Recode saw this as perhaps a "not-so-veiled nod to the anti-immigrant push that galvanized Trump’s base."  The memo also stressed how people across the world and of all backgrounds are part of eBay, and "This diversity is one of the most valuable assets we have as we drive our business forward."

He goes on to touch on Brexit, saying, "Just a few months ago, voters in the UK made a similarly historic decision regarding their relationship with the European Union. People are expressing sentiments that economic progress has not been distributed fairly. We’ve also seen a sense of fear and disruption caused by the impact that changing economic trends, including technology innovation, are having on people’s lives."

But, he says, "While we are a technology leader, our platform is centered around people -- buyers, sellers and our employees. We connect people through the power of a global marketplace. In an era where technology can be miscast as dehumanizing and disruptive, we represent a philosophy where technology can lift people and create opportunity at all levels. We will continue to advocate for principles and policies that support the needs of the global eBay community, and I will continue to speak publicly about inclusion, trade, and the positive role that technology can play in peoples’ lives around the world."

He ends by saying the company should be focused on the holiday season, and ensuring "we finish what we started in 2016."
And, "While political seasons come and go, we will remember who we are, why we exist, and who we serve."


I see the memo as a reaching out to eBay's employees and acknowledging that there are mixed feelings and perhaps some shock around the election results. While being careful to not take sides, the email does strike a cautionary note about the election results, and recode noted that Wenig donated $2700 to the Hillary Clinton campaign last year, according to public records. I think it's usually a good thing when the head of a company sends a note to the entire staff, keeping them in touch with what's going on in the head of the leader and striving to keep them on track despite whatever political or economic disruption.

What do you think of Wenig's memo to the eBay staff, and do you think it struck the right tone?  What do you think it should have said instead?  Post a comment here!