January 23, 2008, 12:00 AM

Meg Whitman stepping down as president and CEO of eBay

Meg Whitman, who has led eBay over the past decade as it grew from under $5 million to nearly $8 billion in annual revenue, will step down as president and CEO on March 31, eBay said today. John Donahoe, president of eBay Marketplaces, will succeed her.

Meg Whitman, who has led eBay Inc. over the past decade as it grew from under $5 million to nearly $8 billion in annual revenue, will step down as president and CEO on March 31, eBay said today. John Donahoe, president of eBay Marketplaces, will succeed her.

“Meg’s passion for all things eBay changed the world,” says eBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar. “With humor, smarts and unflappable determination, Meg took a small, barely known online auction site and helped it become an integral part of our lives. We’re all enormously grateful that Meg dedicated herself to stewarding eBay through its 10 most formative years.”

Whitman, who will remain on eBay’s board of directors, joined eBay in March 1998, when it was a U.S.-only auction site with 500,000 registered users, 30 employees and $4.7 million in revenue. Today, eBay is a global marketplace with hundreds of millions of users, more than 15,000 employees and about $7.7 billion in revenue for year ended Dec. 31, 2007. EBay last year reported $16.2 billion in gross merchandise sales, the value of all sales transactions on the eBay platform.

Donahoe, a former worldwide managing director at consultants Bain & Co., joined eBay in February 2005 and served for three years as president of eBay Marketplaces, which accounts for more than 70% of eBay’s revenue. Donahoe and Whitman have worked together for the past three years to prepare for transferring the top executive’s duties to Donahoe, Whitman says. “John and I have worked very closely to arrive at this day, and we’ll continue to work together through the transition,” she says.

Rajiv Dutta, president of PayPal, eBay’s payments unit, has been named executive vice president of eBay Inc. and will also succeed Donahoe as president of eBay Marketplaces, eBay says. A 10-year veteran of eBay, Dutta has previously served as eBay’s chief financial officer and president of its Skype communications business.

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