eBay CEO Whitman Near Retirement?

Top Internet auctioneer eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman is preparing to retire and may announce her departure within weeks, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The report, quoting people familiar with the matter, said the situation “remains fluid” but that the 51-year-old Whitman had recently begun delegating more daily responsibilities and was completing succession plans.

eBay spokesman Hani Durzy declined to comment.

The report also quoted its sources as saying John Donahoe, the 47-year-old president of eBay’s auction business unit, was the leading candidate to succeed Whitman.

Whitman, one of the most high-profile female executives in the country, joined eBay 10 years ago in March. At the time, she had said no chief executive should stay more than a decade in the job for the benefit of the executive and the company.

Under her leadership, eBay has turned into one of the most-visited sites on the Internet, but the company’s growth has slowed in recent years.

In October, it admitted that its closely watched acquisition of Internet phone company Skype was not paying off, by announcing a $1.4 billion write-down of its investment.

The company is due to announce fourth-quarter results on Wednesday.

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