Online retailer, eBay has announced plans to lay off about 9% of its entire workforce or bitcoin 1,000 full-time employees. This was disclosed in an official announcement made yesterday.
According to CEO, Jamie Iannone, this is part of its plan to be “more nimble” in the face of a “challenging” economic environment. This will include plans to scale back on contract staff and replace them with alternate workforce in the coming months.
“While we are making progress against our strategy, our overall headcount and expenses have outpaced the growth of our business. To address this, we’re implementing organizational changes that align and consolidate certain teams to improve the end-to-end experience, and better meet the needs of our customers around the world,” the CEO explained.
The official statement by eBay requested that employees in the US should work from home today (January 24th) “to provide space and privacy for these conversations.” It also includes that employees would be notified if they were laid off by their leader over Zoom.
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An unending struggle
Founded in 1995, eBay is an early internet pioneer that has survived decades of changes and fierce competition in the world of e-commerce. Today, it is a $21 billion company with nearly 12,000 employees.
This is the second round of job reductions at eBay in a year. The company announced in February 2023 that it would reduce its workforce by 500 employees or about 4%. At that time, the company cited a slowdown in consumer spending following the pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom.
For months now, eBay has been losing market share to bigger rivals such as Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. and has been gradually selling pieces of the company. While it has been largely insulated from the downturn in advertising spending, since it makes most of its money off sales commissions, a sales slowdown at the online platform has hit eBay’s bottom line.
eBay CEO, Jamie Iannone
The company had 132 million active buyers as of Sept. 30, down 3% from a year earlier. The shares gained about 4% in extended trading after closing at $41.41 in New York. The stock has declined 13% in the past 12 months.
eBay has also suffered some bad publicity over some poor operating practices. Recall that in June, Earlier this month, the company agreed to pay a $3 million settlement to resolve a criminal probe into a cyberstalking and harassment campaign led by former eBay employees. According to US Federal authorities, live spiders and a bloody pig face mask were sent to the home of a Massachusetts couple who published a newsletter that focused on eBay sellers and executives.
Prosecutors also said that the eBay employees harassed the couple online using fake social media accounts and then reached out to say eBay was aware of the malicious behaviour and was investigating.
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The eBay layoff adds to the tally
According to Layoffs.fyi which tracks job cuts across the tech industry, with this recent announcement, eBay joins more than 60 other tech companies that have let almost 11,000 employees go in 2024.
These include another e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. and Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. This month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai warned employees to expect additional layoffs in the months to come as the tech giant reorients itself toward artificial intelligence “and beyond.”
Language learning platform, Duolingo laid off around 10% of its contract workers as it moves to rely more heavily on artificial intelligence. Amazon also cut hundreds of jobs, including at streaming platform Twitch.