eBay has announced they will be laying off ~500 employees globally, about 4% of their total workforce. Were the shiny new Web3 jobs just a distraction to cushion the blow of layoff news? 🤨
Did you know eBay is hiring for Web3 positions in its recently acquired KnownOrigin NFT marketplace?
Apparently eBay thinks you should, judging by all the very convenient and I'm sure totally coincidentally timed news stories about these amazing next-gen opportunities. 😉
eBay acquired KnownOrigin in June 2022 and has done very little with the marketplace since, despite previous hiring efforts.
Those news headlines make it sound like eBay is on a mass hiring spree for this department in preparation for a "showdown with Amazon", but reviewing the eBay jobs page shows a grand total of 8 currently open KnownOrigin positions.
Most interesting to me is the listing for Crypto Counsel to join the eBay legal team at headquarters in San Jose.
This could be your chance to practice ground-breaking law for an innovative and pioneering Web3 tech company! KnownOrigin and eBay seek an experienced and creative crypto attorney to join the legal team supporting eBay’s business, product, compliance and technology teams in the web3 space.
- Work closely across multiple business teams at eBay providing legal advice with respect to NFTs, blockchain and other Web3 matters.
- Keep up-to-date on regulatory and policy developments involving blockchain and digital assets generally; advise on country-specific regulatory requirements, including strategic and legal advice for new products or features.
- Work with other members of the eBay Legal team to manage all regulatory matters (e.g. permits, licenses, registrations) involving Web3 products, and to adapt any required company policies and procedures to ensure compliance with local rules and regulations with respect to Web3 products.
- Independently coordinate with functional team members, including Tax, Finance, Privacy, Information Security, IP, and other internal teams regarding Web3, NFTs and cryptoassets.
- Become deeply integrated with business partners, understanding their needs and helping to find creative legal solutions to achieve business objectives
Let me get this straight - this acquisition (hopefully) went through all the usual due diligence and was completed 8 months ago but Chief Legal Officer Marie Oh Huber is just now getting around to the idea that it might be a good idea to have an expert in Web3 compliance and regulation onboard? 🤨
So why is eBay so eager for the world to know about these 8 exciting job opportunities at this time?
I'd be willing to bet the upcoming Q4 2022 earnings call on February 22 as well as ongoing investor concerns about a possible hiring freeze or layoffs might have something to do with it.
eBay has significantly curtailed hiring in the last ~7 months, dropping from a high of 696 open job positions in July to 169 currently.
The most significant drop has been in the US region where it has gone from 509 in July to 101 today.
While eBay has so far been able to avoid significant layoffs, it's clear there has been some serious belt tightening going on, and adding a few new positions for KnownOrigin doesn't significantly change that assessment.
My take? The PR push about Web3 jobs is nothing more than an attempt to signal "all is well" leading up to Q4 earnings - and CEO Jamie Iannone is going to have to do a lot more than that to convince me.