Staying & going: eBay to spend $35M to retain execs, while cutting ties to ALEC

eBay CEO John Donahoe has 23 million reasons to stick around until the company splits in two next year. The San Jose-based e-commerce giant will spend more than $35 million to retain Donahoe and four other top executives until PayPal is spun off, according to an SEC filing.

The five execs will be out of a job once the split, which was announced in September, is complete. Donahoe stands to receive a $23 million bonus, and COO Robert Swan will get about $12 million. VP of legal Michael Jacobson, HR chief Elizabeth Axelrod and corporate communications chief Alan Marks will also get bonuses to stick around, equal to 1.5 times their annual pay and bonus, according to Bloomberg News.

“John’s transition package is closely tied to the performance of the company during the separation period and the company’s stock price at the time of separation,” eBay spokeswoman Amanda Miller said in a statement.

Donahoe has been CEO of eBay for six years, and has been largely praised for his leadership. He will be replaced by Devin Wenig, and American Express exec Dan Schulman will become PayPal CEO.

The Merc’s Steve Johnson reported earlier this month that eBay may lay off as much as 10 percent of its workforce before the split. The executives’ deals “assures them a higher percentage payout of what they could get versus companies that have very restrictive payouts if an individual is fired,” executive compensation specialist Aaron Boyd told Forbes.

In other eBay news, the company announced Thursday evening it was cutting ties with ALEC, a conservative political group that has come under fire for its stance on climate change.

“After our annual review of eBay Inc’s memberships in trade associations and third party organizations we’ve decided not to renew our membership with American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC),” an eBay spokeswoman said.

Critics say the American Legislative Exchange Council denies climate change, supports defunding public services, seeks to limit workers’ rights and opposes net neutrality. Google severed ties with ALEC in September, after executive chairman Eric Schmidt said the group was “literally lying” about climate change. Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and Yelp have also left the group in recent months.

Environmental activists praised eBay’s move. “This is a major victory,” Ryan Canney of the group Forecast the Facts told The Guardian.


At top: The sign at eBay headquarters in San Jose.  (Gary Reyes/ Bay Area News Group file photo)



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  • Let me get this straight. Ebay is rewarding the CEO who destroyed it for tens of thousands of small sellers with a $23 million golden parachute, yet they are going to be firing as many as 3,000 employees after the first of the year…