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Meg Whitman quits as eBay CEO

Source: PTI
January 24, 2008 14:38 IST
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In a top-order rejig at eBay Inc, Meg Whitman has resigned as its CEO, and would be replaced by John Donahoe while the world's largest Internet auction firm has brought in India-origin former finance head Rajiv Dutta to the board.

In a late night announcement on Wednesday, eBay said that Whitman would step down as its president and CEO on March 31, currently head of its core auction business.

The company also announced that Rajiv Dutta, currently president of its PayPal unit, has been named executive vice president of eBay Inc and would replace Donahoe as president of auction business unit - eBay Marketplaces.

Dutta, who will report to Donahoe, has also been elected to eBay's board of directors. Whitman, the outgoing CEO who had joined eBay in 1998, would continue to remain on the board.

Dutta, an Economics graduate from St Stephen's College in Delhi and MBA from Drucker School of Management in California, is a 10-year eBay veteran and has previously served as the company's chief financial officer and president of Skype, eBay's communications business.

Since July 2006, Dutta has successfully led PayPal to achieve more than $65 billion in payment volume and three consecutive quarters of accelerating revenue growth. "Dutta will apply his experience, strategic abilities and leadership skills to accelerating growth in the company's core business," the company said.

The eBay Marketplaces unit, to be headed by Dutta, accounts for more than 70 per cent of the company's revenue.  Whitman said, "Rajiv is one of the most talented executives I've met. John and Rajiv make a fantastic combination, one that will help ensure the continued growth and success of all our businesses."

Whitman had joined eBay in March 1998 and had been instrumental in its evolution from a US-only auction-based trading site with 500,000 registered users, just 30 employees, and $4.7 million in revenue at that time to hundreds of millions of users worldwide, more than 15,000 employees and nearly $7.7 billion in revenue.

Dutta will be replaced as PayPal's president by Scott Thompson, currently chief technology officer of this business. Whitman has been one of the high-profile CEOs in the Silicon Valley and has been hailed as one of the pioneers of Internet industry's commercialisation. With a net worth of $1.4 billion as per Forbes magazine, she figures among the world's richest businesswomen.
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