eBay Laying Off Thousands of Employees Due to ‘External Pressures’

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E-commerce giant eBay announced on Jan. 23 that it is laying off 1,000 of its full-time employees, citing “external pressures,” including a  “challenging macroeconomic environment.”

CEO Jamie Iannone initially announced the job cuts in an internal notice that was later published on the company’s official website.

Mr. Iannone stated the layoffs—which will impact an estimated 9 percent of full-time employees—are a necessary part of eBay’s strategy to “ensure our success” and better position it for “long-term, sustainable growth.”

“We need to better organize our teams for speed—allowing us to be more nimble, bring like-work together, and help us make decisions more quickly,” he said. “Despite facing external pressures, like the challenging macroeconomic environment, we know we can be better with the factors we control. While we are making progress against our strategy, our overall headcount and expenses have outpaced the growth of our business.”

“To address this, we’re implementing organizational changes that align and consolidate certain teams to improve the end-to-end experience, and better meet the needs of our customers around the world,” Mr. Iannone continued.

Mr. Iannone said the company would soon begin notifying those employees whose roles have been eliminated via Zoom and enter into a consultation process in areas where required.

Scaling Back Contracts

He requested that all full-time eBay employees based in the United States work from home on Jan. 24 to “provide some space and privacy for these conversations.”

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“We’re committed to treating everyone with respect and empathy through this transition and providing impacted employees with support and resources,” the CEO said.

Elsewhere in the notice, the CEO said eBay plans to scale back its contracts with its “alternate workforce” over the coming months as part of its reorganization efforts.

Mr. Iannone did not state how many contractors would be impacted by the move.

“These are not actions we take lightly—and we recognize the impact they will have on all eBayers. We have to say goodbye to people who have made so many important contributions to the eBay community and culture, and this isn’t easy,” Mr. Iannone said.

The job cuts at eBay are the latest to hit the tech industry this month after Amazon said it was letting go of hundreds of its Prime Video employees as well as staff of its subsidiary MGM Studios and its live-streaming platform Twitch as part of cost-cutting efforts.

Wave of Tech Layoffs

Google also slashed thousands of jobs, including at YouTube, as part of what it describes as “responsible investing” efforts.

According to data from layoffs.fyi., a total of 73 tech companies have laid off 13,240 employees so far in 2024.

San Jose, California-headquartered eBay reported revenue of $2.5 billion in the last quarter of 2023 and net income of $1.3 billion; with Steve Priest, chief financial officer at eBay, touting the company’s ability to “adapt to the evolving changes in this dynamic macroenvironment.”

However, Mr. Iannone noted in Tuesday’s notice to employees that there is a “need for change” at the online retailer.

“These changes are difficult, but I’m confident that by working together we will become stronger than ever,” the CEO said. “In the months ahead, you will see a more focused, agile, and responsive eBay — one that is better positioned to advance our purpose of creating economic opportunity for all.”

The latest layoffs at eBay come nearly a year after the company announced plans to lay off 500 employees globally, representing around 4 percent of its total workforce.

The retailer’s stock has declined 11.3 percent in the past 12 months.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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