Loss of eBay COO Not Seen as Critical

Auction giant eBay is losing a COO as Brian Swette is stepping down to spend more time with his family, prompting a shuffling of responsibilities in the executive suite.

However, analysts said that although Swette was a key player at eBay, the management team is strong enough to take his change of role in stride and in fact, eBay stock was down only 44 cents to $68.85 in mid-morning trading today.

“While the change is unexpected, we do not view it as significant to the solid managment structure and believe the transition will be seamless,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in an advisory to clients, adding that eBay “remains our top e-commerce pick…”

San Jose, Calif.-based eBay said Swette wants to spend more time with his children, who live in Florida. He will continue with the company as head of Corporate Development, managing eBay’s marketing and sponsorship relationships.

A replacement COO will not be named; instead Swette’s day-to-day operational responsibilities will be integrated into the departments of the company’s most senior executives.

Each picking up a share of those duties are: Maynard Webb, president of eBay Technologies; Rajiv Dutta, chief financial officer; Jeff Jordan, senior vice president and general manager of eBay U.S.; Matt Bannick, senior vice president and general manager of eBay International; and, Bill Cobb, senior vice president for global marketing.

Swette, who took the job two years ago, will also serve as a senior advisor to Meg Whitman, eBay’s president and CEO, on strategic business issues.

“Brian’s leadership, creativity and commitment have been at the heart of eBay’s success,” said Whitman in a statement. “I will continue to rely on Brian’s excellent advice as well as his tremendous ability to develop and manage critical partnerships for eBay.”

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