January 23, 2008 / 10:05 PM / 12 years ago

EBay CEO-to-be says site offers value in recession

NEW YORK (Reuters) - EBay Inc’s (EBAY.O) John Donahoe, who will take on the chief executive role later this year, said on Wednesday the company’s online auction site should still attract consumers even if the U.S. economy sinks into recession.

“We think eBay offers a good value proposition in good economic times and in tougher economic times,” Donahoe said in an interview with cable business news channel CNBC.

Donahoe said he would maintain the company’s focus in 2008 on improving its main auction business, putting more of an emphasis on its fixed-price retail operations and boosting growth at its PayPal unit. He is currently head of eBay’s auction business.

CEO Meg Whitman, who will step down at the end of March after 10 years at the helm, said eBay had been a place for consumers to hunt for bargains during previous economic downturns.

“Consumers are clearly being more conservative,” she said. “I anticipate we may see an increase in casual sellers who are supplementing their income.”

Reporting by Michele Gershberg; Editing by Braden Reddall

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