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EBay to lay off 1,000 workers as tech job losses continue in the new year

On Tuesday, EBay announced it is laying off 1,000 employees, citing a slow-down in growth.
Matt Slocum
On Tuesday, EBay announced it is laying off 1,000 employees, citing a slow-down in growth.

Online retailer eBay is shedding 1,000 jobs, or about 9% of its workforce, as the company faces a business slowdown that is rippling across the technology industry.

In a blog post, eBay CEO Jamie Iannone wrote that the size of the company's staff and its expenses "have outpaced the growth of our business," which he said prompted the terminations.

In addition, eBay is ending its relationship with many outside contractors.

Both moves, Iannone wrote, are part of an effort to stay more "nimble" in the face of a "challenging" economy.

Founded in 1995, eBay is an early internet pioneer that has survived decades of changes and fierce competition in the world of e-commerce. Today, it is a $21 billion company with nearly 12,000 employees, but its core business has been chipped away at over the years by Amazon and other online marketplaces.

While it has been largely insulated from the downturn in advertising spending, since it makes most of its money off sales commissions, a sales slowdown at the online platform has hit eBay's bottom line.

The 1,000 layoffs announced on Tuesday follow a previous staff cut in February 2023, when it sacked 500 workers, as the company attempted to adjust to flagging sales demand after pandemic boom times.

The staff contraction at eBay comes as dozens of other tech companies, including Google, Amazon, and recently, TikTok, have collectively laid off thousands, with executives saying they are still shaking off workforces glutted from the pandemic.

Just four weeks into 2024, dozens of tech companies have laid off nearly 11,000 workers, according to layoffs.fyi, a site that tracks job cuts in the sector.

Iannone, eBay's CEO, said employees who have lost their jobs will soon be notified through a Zoom meeting. He requested that all U.S. employees work from home on Wednesday, when many of the lay off notifications will be delivered, to "provide some space and privacy for these conversations."

Earlier this month, eBay agreed to pay a $3 million settlement to resolve a criminal probe into a cyberstalking and harassment campaign led by former eBay employees in which live spiders and a bloody pig face mask were sent to the home of a Massachusetts couple who published a newsletter that focused on eBay sellers and executives.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bobby Allyn is a business reporter at NPR based in San Francisco. He covers technology and how Silicon Valley's largest companies are transforming how we live and reshaping society.

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