John Donahoe / CEO of eBay

eBay Layoffs – Will Donahoe Be Next?

2008-10-07 21:30:10

So the economy is tanking and there’s no shortage of bad news out there, but for today we thought we’d take a break from talking about financial services to talk about a local high-tech favorite – eBay

Yesterday, John Donahoe, the new CEO of eBay, announced he would be “streamlining” – otherwise known as laying off 10% of their workforce and letting go of several hundred temporary positions (1,600 jobs in total). Layoffs by themselves are not surprising in this economy, but if you’ve been reading any of the eBay reviews from the last month you’d know that that employees themselves will be looking for John himself to be included in this round of cuts.

Company CEO Approval Rating
Motorola Greg Brown 10.6%
Rain Bird Anthony LaFetra 11.4%
AOL Randy Falco 13.4%
EDS Ron Rittenmeyer 13.5%
Computer Sciences Mike Laphen 19.3%
Wal-Mart H. Lee Scott Jr. 23.5%
eBay John Donahoe 25.2%
Nortel Networks Mike S. Zafirovski 25.5%
UBS Marcel Rohner 27.0%
Sun Microsystems Jonathan Schwartz 28.9%

With a dismal 25.2% CEO approval rating (among the 10 worst with 50 or more reviews), employees haven’t been holding back. Whether its managements need for yet another re-org, change upon change that shows a lack of understanding and appreciation for the eBay ecosystem, or concerns about management killing the “cash cow” or “golden goose” (take your pick) – eBay employees have been especially active on Glassdoor lately.

eBay is pure chaos every day. Upper management is constantly changing which means regular re-orgs. We’re a horizontal org, then a vertical one, and back and forth. We work in centralized teams, then six months later we’re decentralized. Employees don’t feel confident that the initiative they’re working on today will be around next month or even next week.” — Program Manager in San Jose

Crazy hours doing crazy things that are alienating everyone – employees, sellers, buyers, shareholders, analysts. Anyone with a stake in eBay is wondering what the hell is going on, or we would wonder if we weren’t so exhausted. We do things, people get upset, we change them, and upper management keeps asking us to make the same mistakes.” — Project Manager in San Jose

Donahoe has made eBay a miserable debacle and it’s getting worse every day…I never thought I would say this, but I miss Meg! Come back Meg!!!!!” — Software Engineer in San Jose

I guess it’s not surprising that this last employee is looking for Meg to return, her approval rating was 75% when she stepped down (3x that of John’s).

There are definitely strong feelings here, so let’s look for a positive – the employees are passionate (and so he has that going for him – which is nice!). Let’s hope that Jon can turn that passion into something positive. Our “hitlist” of the CEOs with the lowest Glassdoor approval ratings has already predicted the departures of CEOs at WaMu, AMD, and Alcatel-Lucent – you have to wonder who will be next? After all, employees know best.

Categories: Reviews