September 25, 2019 / 1:19 PM / 21 days ago

EBay CEO steps down, cites differences with board

(Reuters) - EBay Inc (EBAY.O) Chief Executive Officer Devin Wenig stepped down on Wednesday, citing differences with the company’s recently revamped board, which is looking to sell some of its businesses amid pressure from activist investors.

FILE PHOTO: Devin Wenig, President and CEO, eBay, speaks at the 2019 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Wenig, who has been the online auction and retail site’s CEO for four years, said in a tweet: “In the past few weeks it became clear that I was not on the same page as my new Board. Whenever that happens, it’s best for everyone to turn that page over.”

Earlier this year, eBay made changes to its board and said it is exploring options for its ticketing unit, StubHub, and eBay Classifieds businesses, after coming under pressure from hedge funds Elliott Management Corp and Starboard Value.

EBay, which faces intense competition from Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Walmart Inc (WMT.N), has focused on its promoted listings program and payments business under Wenig’s leadership, as well as worked to make its platform simpler to use.

It beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly results in its latest report, as efforts to make its platforms easier to navigate attracted more customers, coupled with growth in its advertising and payments businesses.

Wenig, 52, will be replaced with Chief Financial Officer Scott Schenkel on an interim basis, eBay said, adding that it was continuing a review of its businesses and expects to provide an update this fall.

The company’s shares were down 1.9% at $38.79. They have gained 40% since Wenig took over as CEO.

“Given a number of considerations, both Devin and the Board believe that a new CEO is best for the Company at this time,” board Chairman Thomas Tierney said in a statement.

A dispute over the proposed sale of the Classifieds business led to Wenig’s departure, CNBC reported, citing sources.

In March, the company added Jesse Cohn, who runs Elliott’s U.S. equity activism practice, and Matt Murphy, the CEO of Marvell Technology (MRVL.O) and a nominee of Starboard, to its board.

EBay also said on Wednesday its board will undertake a search for a new CEO.

Andy Cring, VP of Global Financial Planning and Analysis, was named interim Chief Financial Officer.

Elliott and Starboard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Amal S and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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