April 3, 2012, 1:15 PM

eBay technology executive joins American Express

Neal Sample was technology chief for eBay’s X.Commerce.

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Neal Sample

Neal Sample, former technology chief of eBay’s X.Commerce e-commerce technology business, is joining American Express Co. as senior vice president of technologies for the American Express Serve digital commerce platform.

Sample will work with the Serve technology team to help broaden and strengthen the digital commerce platform, American Express says, declining to be more specific.

“In Neal we have found an executive who brings a wealth of technology experience to the table, and has an established track record leading platform evolution for new technology” says Jason Hogg, president, Serve Enterprise, American Express. “Neal is an ideal fit for American Express as we look to the future of digital payments and commerce.”

American Express launched Serve a year ago as a new digital commerce technology platform that competes with eBay’s PayPal online payments system. Serve enables consumers to make online payments to merchants though an online account that consumers can fund through their bank accounts or via American Express or other branded credit cards. Serve also lets consumers make online payments to other consumers, and consumers can make Serve payments through mobile devices as well as personal computers.

Sample leaves eBay after having joined the company in September 2010 as vice president of architecture and platform products. He was named chief technology officer of X.Commerce in May 2011. In earlier positions, Sample was a senior executive from May 2004 to September 2010 at Yahoo Inc., where he led what Yahoo describes as its open, social and participation technology platforms, including connections between Yahoo and the social media companies Zynga, Facebook and Twitter; he also worked as a technology consultant and was chief scientist at RightOrder Inc., a company whose technology supports electronic commerce transactions.

At eBay, Sample will be replaced on an interim basis by Matthew Mengerink, general manager and vice president of X.Commerce, while eBay searches for a permanent successor, an eBay spokeswoman says.

EBay launched X.Commerce last year as an e-commerce technology unit that incorporates technology from several eBay subsidiaries, including PayPal and its Magento e-commerce platform.

E-commerce technology will be addressed at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in June in various sessions including “How today’s e-commerce platforms swap-out is radically different from yesterday’s,” featuring speakers Marc Ashley, chief operating officer of MarketAmerica and Debra Jensen, vice president and chief information officer, Charlotte Russe.

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