Ebay poaches senior Amazon executive Peter Thompson amid continued transformation

Ebay has poached the former head of Amazon’s Alexa Voice Services arm as it continues to undergo major changes.

Peter Thompson is set to join the online auction giant on July 29 as its new senior vice president and chief product officer, reporting directly to Ebay’s chief executive Devin Wenig.

Thompson is expected to focus on simplifying how users shop on its platform by improving how they discover products and receive recommendations.

Alongside his appointment, Ebay also welcomed former Twitter vice president Mazen Rawashdeh as its new chief technology officer.

READ MORE: Ebay could be forced to sell off Gumtree & StubHub by investors

This comes after Ebay surprised investors by beating expectations in its second quarter results, posting a two per cent revenue rise to $2.7 billion (£2.13 billion).

Its latest hires represent its latest effort to bring the fight to Amazon after influential hedge funds Elliott Management and Starboard purchased a stake in the company earlier this year.

In January Elliott Management, known as an “activist investor”, said that Ebay has “underperformed its peers and the market for a prolonged period of time” adding that the “rapid deterioration” of its valuation, having seen its share price drop 35 per cent since early 2018, had led to a loss of confidence from its shareholders.

“As the broader internet universe has flourished, especially ecommerce peers, Ebay’s stock has floundered,” Elliott partner Jesse Cohn wrote in a letter to Ebay’s board.

“Today Ebay suffers from an inefficient organisational structure, wasteful spend and a misallocation of resources. By increasing operational efficiency, Ebay can free up capital to invest in capability- and revenue-enhancing activities.”

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