John Donahoe on the Next Chapter for eBay and PayPal

By: John Donahoe, eBay Inc. President and CEO

eBay’s board of directors today approved the completion of our previously announced decision to separate eBay and PayPal into standalone public companies. Separation is expected to occur on July 17 and Monday July 20 will be the first day that EBAY and PYPL will officially trade on NASDAQ.  You can read more in the press release here.

I recently had the privilege of sharing lunch with about 15 of PayPal’s original customer service center employees in Omaha, Nebraska. They regaled me with great stories about the early days of PayPal, the excitement of serving PayPal’s millionth customer in 2000 (PayPal has 160 million today), and the incredible energy around PayPal’s first IPO and then becoming part of eBay. Fifteen years later, they are just as excited about the journey ahead, creating the next chapter for PayPal, and having the special experience of helping PayPal become an independent, public company for the second time.

In the same week, I also had the honor of spending time with many of eBay’s earliest customer service center employees in Salt Lake City. They, too, shared an endless stream of incredible stories about the journey of building eBay, partnering with PayPal and supporting millions of buyers and sellers over the years. As eBay turns 20 years old this September, they are bursting with energy and optimism about the opportunities ahead.   

eBay and PayPal are two great, special businesses. And as each prepares for its next chapter as an independent company, I could not be prouder of our employees and what they have accomplished. Going forward, eBay and PayPal will each have a sharper focus and greater flexibility to pursue future success in their respective markets. I am confident that both companies have the right leadership team, strategy, structure and operational discipline to create lasting value. 

- Under Devin Wenig’s leadership, eBay is focused on engaging its customers on one of the world’s most vibrant marketplaces to discover unique value and selection, creating exceptional product and brand experiences that make it simple to shop and sell, and delivering a robust, stable and secure shopping and selling destination

- With Dan Schulman at the helm, PayPal is focused on expanding its reach and shaping the future of the payments industry by further penetrating merchants worldwide and increasing merchant and consumer engagement with relevant, trusted products and services. 

eBay and PayPal are well positioned to capitalize on their respective growth opportunities. At the same time, we have put in place an operating agreement focused on preserving the benefits of their existing relationship and ensuring that separation is seamless for customers of both companies. 

I am looking forward to what eBay and PayPal will accomplish in the coming years. As we take the final steps toward separation, I want to thank the eBay Inc. Board of Directors for their leadership throughout this process. And I want to personally thank my core eBay Inc. leadership team – CFO Bob Swan; General Counsel Mike Jacobson; Chief Human Resources Officer Beth Axelrod; and Chief Communications Officer Alan Marks. It has been a privilege to work with this team during my tenure as CEO; and our collective decision to step away at separation rather than continue in operating roles in either company enabled us to execute a fast, smooth separation process and ensure eBay and PayPal are set up for success.

Smooth management transitions and CEO successions have been a hallmark of eBay throughout its history, and this time is no different. I wish Bob, Mike, Beth and Alan much success in whatever they choose to do next. And I know each of us is tremendously excited about the opportunities ahead for eBay and PayPal, and what Devin, Dan and their teams will create and accomplish in the next chapter for each of these great businesses.