eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe Discusses New Directions at All Things D
By: eBay Inc. Staff
Among other predictions, he expects more than one long-term winner in e-commerce.
In an informal, fireside chat at The Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., today, eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe discussed a far-ranging set of topics with veteran technology journalist Walt Mossberg, including growth in mobile shopping and increased focus at eBay. The conversation, at what has become one of the technology arena’s most prestigious conferences, also drove home the fact that auctions represent a much smaller part of eBay’s annual business now than they once did.
In addition to being shown on CNBC and written about by a number of news outlets, the Wall Street Journal network’s All Things D site liveblogged Donahoe’s appearance. Mossberg posed questions for him on topics ranging from eBay’s newfound smaller role in the evolution of Skype to the company’s newest forays into fashion.
Donahoe stressed that not only are auctions a minority of eBay’s overall business, but that new kinds of inventory are being sold. “A lot of the inventory on eBay today is brand new,” he said. “Now they’re not necessarily the same items you’d get in a retail store. But what you have on eBay that you don’t have anywhere else are items that have been returned or refurbished, items that are cheaper. eBay gives you a choice of inventory.”
In discussing competition, Donahoe mentioned Amazon, Etsy and Wal-Mart, but also stressed that there can be many winners in e-commerce. “Wal-Mart is the largest offline retailer in the world,” he noted. “Costco competes in the exact same segment with the exact same business model very successfully. So does Target. The same thing can happen online. Amazon can be successful and eBay can be successful, too.”
For more from Donahoe’s All Things D appearance, read excerpts from the conversation here.