EBay Hires Apple Executive Pittman for E-Commerce

EBay Inc. hired R.J. Pittman from Apple Inc. for a new position as chief product officer for its marketplaces business, as the company heads into the crucial holiday shopping season.

Pittman, who worked in worldwide e-commerce for Apple, will report to Devin Wenig, president of EBay’s marketplaces division. In his new role, Pittman will be in charge of development, improving consumer shopping experiences and other additions to the site. Pittman’s product and design expertise from his time at Apple will help at EBay, Wenig said.

“We’re starting to think about the next phase,” Wenig said in an interview. “Product and design is going to be an increasing focus of what we do, and a natural next step is organizing in a slightly different way.”

EBay disclosed the new hire a day after issuing sales and profit forecasts for the fourth quarter that fell short of analysts’ estimates. The period is key for the San Jose, California-based company given the amount of holiday shopping that is increasingly taking place online. EBay shares dropped as much as 6.2 percent today following the outlook.

EBay is combining groups that work on consumer experiences while also combining those technology and data teams, Wenig said.

At Apple, Pittman helped integrate the e-commerce operation with the retail stores and led an international expansion team that developed commerce in 38 countries. Before Apple, he worked in a product-management group at Google Inc. and was chief executive officer of e-commerce companies Groxis Inc. and Digital Courier Technologies.

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