Adam Ireland Tapped As eBay's New VP GM Global Collectibles As Gene Cook Departs

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay is once again doing the executive shuffle with previous US General Manager Adam Ireland tapped to lead the company's trading card and collectibles initiatives as VP Global Collectibles Gene Cook departs.

Ireland announced he would be moving on to a new role within the company back in March, with Dawn Block succeeding him as US GM, but did not disclose what his new position would be at that time.

eBay Shakes Up US Leadership With New General Manager
eBay has a new US General Manager as VP Adam Ireland moves to new role & VP Collectibles, Electronics & Home, Dawn Block steps up to lead US ops.

A "somewhat belated" LinkedIn update posted today reveals that he is the new VP Global Collectibles, where he will lead eBay's portfolio in this critical vertical, including TCGPlayer and Goldin.

The update comes on the heels of previous VP Global Collectibles Gene Cook announcing his departure from the company last month, saying the recent completion of deals to acquire Goldin Auctions and secure a long-term partnership with Collectors/PSA "represented a personal inflection point in terms of being intentional about what I want to pursue next."

eBay VP Collectibles Gene Cook Exits, Leaving Leadership Up In The Air For Key Focus Vertical
eBay VP Collectibles Gene Cook exits, leaving leadership of multi-billion dollar key focus vertical up in the air at critical time for company.

Cook had previously been at eBay from 2011-2015 before pursuing entrepreneurial aspirations as a founder for several years, then landing in product management at Meta/Facebook and returning to eBay in 2022.

In addition to leading negotiations in the Goldin deal, Cook also managed the team driving planning and commercial integration of collectible trading card game marketplace TCGplayer, acquired by eBay in October 2022.

Cook temporarily took the reigns at TCGPlayer in March 2023 when founder CEO Chedy Hampson abruptly stepped down the same day eBay Chief Accounting Officer Brian Doerger also announced his sudden departure, amidst labor troubles and due diligence concerns about the acquisition.

eBay Chief Accounting Officer Exit Amplifies TCGPlayer Due Diligence Concerns
eBay Chief Accounting Officer steps down amidst growing concerns about TCGPlayer due diligence.

eBay Canada GM Canada GM Robert Bigler was eventually promoted to take on leadership of TCGPlayer permanently, but Cook continued to be actively involved in business unit integration on the eBay side as TCGPlayer authentication workers formed the first union in eBay history and continue to fight to negotiate their first contract.

Ireland will certainly have his hands full in this new position as eBay's moves to consolidate their place in the collectibles industry have exposed them to increased regulatory and investor scrutiny.

For example, mergers and acquisitions due diligence and disclosure practices were specifically called out for enhanced compliance monitoring as part of a deal made with the Department of Justice to defer prosecution in the 2019 cyberstalking scandal that targeted journalists Ina and David Steiner of EcommerceBytes for their reporting about the company.

The Responsible Online Commerce Coalition has also filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission calling for an investigation into eBay's acquisition of TCGplayer and Goldin, citing “serious concerns" about apparently deceptive and anticompetitive conduct including illegal monopoly maintenance, anticompetitive rollups, overcharging through “junk fees", and competing directly against third party sellers on eBay under the TCGPlayer brand with no disclosure to consumers they would be purchasing from an eBay-owned company.

FTC Urged To Investigate eBay TCGPlayer Deceptive & Anti-Competitive Conduct In ROCC Petition
Responsible Online Commerce Coalition petitions FTC to investigate eBay TCGplayer acquisition, alleging deceptive practices & antitrust violations.

The GM Global Collectibles role is also responsible for overseeing and scaling the company's livestream selling offering, eBay Live.

Given the absolutely embarrassing debacle of technical misexecution that occurred on a recent Elton John charity event, it would appear Ireland will have quite the job ahead of him there too.

eBay Live Elton John Charity Event: Embarrassing “Tech Led Reimagination” Debacle
eBay Live Elton John Aids Foundation charity livestream event turns into embarrassing example of technical misexecution & poor leadership.

With all of the money eBay has invested in the Collectibles vertical on the line, plus increasing pressure of regulatory scrutiny and overcoming almost 3 decades of tech debt to deliver on AI and other "magical" promises, it's certainly understandable how Cook may have reached a "personal inflection point" catalyzing his decision to move on to new and exciting opportunities.

Is Adam Ireland the right choice to lead this multi-billion dollar key focus vertical at such critical time for the company? Let us know what you think in the comments below!


Liz Morton Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!

Never Miss A Headline!