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Whitman Leaving eBay In March

San Jose, Calif.— Meg Whitman will step down as president/CEO of eBay on March 31, and will be succeeded by John Donahoe, president of eBay’s Marketplaces unit, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the company’s global revenues.

Whitman joined the online auction platform ten years ago and helped take it from $4.7 million to $7.7 billion in annual sales, making it one of the fastest growing companies in history. During that time eBay also mushroomed from 30 employees and 500,000 registered users to 15,000 employees and hundreds of millions of visitors worldwide.

She will remain on eBay’s board as a director.

Whitman’s departure was not unexpected. She had long indicated her intention to leave the corner office, and gave eBay time to groom a successor who could take the company to the next level of growth. Donahoe, who joined eBay in 2005 from Bain & Co., a global management consulting firm, doubled his business unit’s revenues and profits over the past three years and has been responsible for the growth of eBay and its other ecommerce businesses around the world, the company said.

“During the last three years, John and I have worked very closely together to arrive at this day, and we’ll continue to work together through the transition,” Whitman said. “I’m extremely confident in John’s skills and the abilities of John’s veteran management team. eBay and its millions of users are in great hands as they head into the future.”

Pierre Omidyar, the company’s founder and chairman, noted that “Meg’s passion for all things eBay changed the world. With humor, smarts and unflappable determination, Meg took a small, barely known online auction site and helped it become an integral part of our lives. We’re all enormously grateful that Meg dedicated herself to stewarding eBay through its 10 most formative years.”

Omidyar added that “John is a great choice to lead eBay. He understands our community and is committed to continuing Meg’s legacy. The board and I look forward to supporting John as he takes eBay into the future.”

Rajiv Dutta, currently the president of eBay’s PayPal unit, will succeed Donahoe as president of eBay Marketplaces, and has been named executive VP of eBay Inc. In turn, Scott Thompson, PayPal’s current chief technology officer, will replace Dutta as president of PayPal.

In addition, Bill Cobb, president of eBay North America, will retire at year’s end. His duties will be assumed by Lorrie Norrington, currently president of eBay International, who will become president of eBay Marketplaces Operations.