Two Minutes with our North America Chief Hal Lawton
By: Jennifer O'Connell and Adam Kohler, eBay Staff
Learn more about eBay’s senior vice president and head of North America, Hal Lawton, who joined the team in 2015.
With his deep understanding for how retail and technology interact, Hal Lawton is building opportunities for entrepreneurship and revitalizing the shopping experience across the United States and globally.
Hal came to the eBay family after a career that saw him rise through the ranks of Home Depot, to the level of senior vice president of merchandising. He built Home Depot’s online operation from scratch, leading a team of 1,700 people. He previously had leadership roles in strategic development and finance at Home Depot and consultancy firm, McKinsey.
When the opportunity arose to lead eBay’s North American operation, he was enthusiastic about joining a company that was founded on doing good, and which is one of the top 30 organizations in the world. What inspires him about working at eBay, he says, is the heritage, the culture and, most of all, the “incredible talent” of the people. Hal recently used eBay to monetize some of the trapped value in his garage ahead of his move to the Bay Area with his wife and three children aged 11, 9 and 5.
What are your top priorities in your role as North American chief for eBay?
To rejuvenate the business, energize the organization, stabilize it. Our North American team has done a fantastic job on that over the last four months, and we just need to continue that journey over the next 8 to 12 months. Devin Wenig, our CEO, has outlined a series of initiatives, and we absolutely have to deliver on those.
How will your background in retail - you come to eBay from Home Depot where you held a number of roles, including most recently SVP of merchandizing - help you to accomplish those goals?
One thing that hopefully I'll be able to bring to the organization is more focus on day-to-day business operations. To drive great sales growth going forward, not only do we have to deliver our operating initiatives, but we have to deliver on great execution every single day -- whether it’s in terms of merchandising and vertical structure, on the marketing side, on our work with sellers, or through our technology focus.
What's your leadership style?
I would say interactive as well as results-oriented. I'm very much a non-hierarchical person. Any high-performing organization just has a great rapport, a great confidence in each other, they trust each other and they enjoy working for each other and they're passionate around the business.
What inspires you about working at eBay?
To be a top 30 global brand yet only 20 years as a company, something founded on only doing good; there's just something inspiring about the heritage and the culture of the company. The second thing is just the people - incredible talent inside the organization, incredible focus on innovation, incredible passion for the company, and the heritage of the business. The last thing I'm inspired by is the marketplace and our seller community. eBay has had a phenomenal past, but its future is even brighter.