eBay Management Shuffle Continues Consumer Selling Strategy Shift With New Head of Global C2C Business

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay is continuing to shuffle the management deck with more internal promotions supporting a recent strategy shift back to consumer-seller focused foundation.

The latest promotion puts Jenny Schmaler in a newly created role of Head of Global C2C business after being responsible for private customer operations for eBay Germany for the past two years, according to AIM Group.

In this new role, Schmaler will report to Oliver Klinck who has recently been elevated to VP of European and International markets with Dr. Saskia Meier-Andrae, also being recently hired from Wayfair to take over as General Manager for eBay Germany.

eBay has also made recent promotions in the UK and Italy to support the C2C pivot as well.

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When CEO Jamie Iannone took the helm in 2020, his initial "tech-led reimagination" strategy specifically called out the need to capitalize on eBay's robust C2C platform, seeing consumer to consumer selling as the foundation of the company's success.

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But consumer selling quickly faded to the background when Stefanie Jay came on board in 2021 as Chief Business Strategy Officer, pushing eBay to pursue a very narrow focused vertical, "high value, enthusiast buyer" strategy that left many of the non-new in season, one of a kind, vintage, antiques and other collectibles C2C sellers that were the "foundational roots of eBay's success" feeling excluded and abandoned.

Amidst mass layoffs in January 2024 and cost cutting pressures new open job positions showed eBay may be seeking fresh ideas and new strategies, with a possible pivot back to a wider consumer-seller focus.

That shift was bolstered even more when it was revealed that Stefanie Jay departed the company in January, leaving questions about eBay's strategy future up in the air.

Iannone also heavily "leaned in" on C2C success in Germany during the Q4 2023 earnings call and other recent investor conferences, while carefully threading the needle to make it seem like this was all part of their vertical focus strategy all along rather than the sudden strategy pivot it appears to be.

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Jay's departure has left an unfilled slot in the eBay Our Leaders page and while they have yet to announce a replacement, a recent shuffling at the US General Manager level has left Adam Ireland moving on to a new, yet to be disclosed, role within with the company.

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Given Adam's professional background both before eBay and during his now 12+ years at the company, it won't be surprising if he ends up in some sort of high level strategy position.

While many sellers would undoubtedly be delighted to see a serious return to eBay's C2C roots, one has to wonder if it might not already be too little, too late as competitors have had 3 years to nibble away at marketshare in categories that eBay used to easily dominate, like pre-loved fashion.

Etsy-owned circular fashion app Depop is already taking bold steps in shaking up their fee structure in the UK, removing selling fees and implementing an up to 5% Marketplace Fee paid by buyers instead and they may not be the last to get creative with fees in an attempt to win over C2C business.

Depop Drops Selling Fee In UK, Shifts Burden To Buyers Directly Via Marketplace Fee Instead
Etsy-owned Depop drops selling fees in UK, shifting partial cost burden to buyers through “up to” 5% Marketplace Fee instead.

eBay has been testing fee free selling for private consumer sellers in the UK as well, mirroring changes they made to the German marketplace last year, and surveying buyers about a C2C initiative they are calling "eBay It Forward."

It will be interesting to see if these recent management shuffles will enable eBay to pivot fast enough to meet their projections of returning to GMV growth in Q3 0r Q4 of this year.

What do you think of eBay's apparent C2C strategy pivot? Can they pull of a comeback and keep consumer sellers loyal to the platform or is it too little, too late with other competitors gaining ground? Let us know 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!

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