eBay lays off 1,000 employees, about 9 percent of full-time workforce

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eBay is laying off approximately 1,000 employees in a move that reduces its full-time workforce by 9 percent, the company announced yesterday. eBay also plans “to scale back the number of contracts we have within our alternate workforce over the coming months,” CEO Jamie Iannone wrote in a message to staff that was titled, “Ensuring eBay’s Long-Term Success.”

Iannone cited “the challenging macroeconomic environment” and said that eBay has too many employees. While we are making progress against our strategy, our overall headcount and expenses have outpaced the growth of our business,” he wrote.

eBay asked all US-based employees to work from home on Wednesday “to provide some space and privacy” for conversations in which laid-off employees were to be given the bad news. The 1,000 layoffs come nearly one year after eBay eliminated 500 employees.

eBay reported $2.5 billion of revenue in its most recent quarterly earnings, for Q3 2023, a rise of 5 percent year over year. Q3 2023 net income was $1.3 billion, whereas the company had reported a net loss of $70 million in Q3 2022. eBay’s Q3 operating income was $455 million, down from $568 million the previous year.

eBay exceeded earnings expectations

eBay also said it “returned $783 million to shareholders in Q3, including $651 million of share repurchases and $132 million paid in cash dividends.” eBay’s stock price was up 0.48 percent today but has fallen about 5 percent this month.

“In Q3, we met or exceeded expectations across all of our key financial metrics,” eBay Chief Financial Officer Steve Priest said at the time. “Our strong balance sheet and operational rigor enable us to adapt to the evolving changes in this dynamic macro environment. We will continue to be prudent with cost efficiencies, saving to invest for the future, while remaining good stewards of capital for our shareholders.”

Even though eBay beat earnings estimates in Q3, The Wall Street Journal pointed out some challenges facing the company going forward. “The company has been under pressure amid rising competition from the likes of Amazon.com and Walmart, as well as from emerging Chinese retailers such as Temu and Shein,” the WSJ wrote. “High interest rates and sticky inflation in the US and other major economies have also weighed on consumers’ discretionary spending.”

eBay’s layoff announcement is the latest in a string of job cuts in the tech industry. Amazon this month announced layoffs of 500 employees at Twitch and several hundred more at its MGM and Prime Video divisions. Google announced layoffs of 100 employees at YouTube after previously laying off hundreds of workers in several other divisions.

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