donderdag, oktober 13, 2005

eBay 10 Years - 2005

The Year that Was: 2005
"Our incredible journey has only just begun!" - Meg Whitman

On Sept. 6, 2005 President and CEO Meg Whitman sent a video message to her troops. "Hi, everyone," she began. "Today we've reached an amazing milestone."

The milestone was obvious to the more than 10,000 employees she addressed. Exactly 10 years ago, Pierre Omidyar sparked a revolution with the launch of AuctionWeb.

Now, 10 years later, that site—which had long ago changed its name to eBay—was universally acknowledged as one of the greatest success stories in the history of commerce. The milestone was certainly something to celebrate. And in true eBay style, employees did it in an unassuming fashion, with local cake and ice cream parties in September and early October.

Earlier in the year, the company began another year of major growth and global expansion. In March, eBay launched Kijiji, a start-up that builds and nurtures local classified sites in nations around the world. Kijiji completed some acquisitions of its own during the spring and summer, including GumTree (UK), opusforum (Germany) and LoQuo and Intoko (both in Spain).

A new site launched in Poland, and sites were localized in Sweden and Ireland. PayPal rolled out local service in Australia, Italy, Spain and China.

The company also added new technologies, capabilities and businesses.

In January, eBay acquired Kurant's advanced software for online stores. This technology was upgraded, re-branded and launched as ProStores in June. ProStores allows eBay sellers and other small- to medium-sized businesses to create a customized Web storefront, independent of the eBay marketplace.

Also of interest to small and medium-size merchants was the launch of PayPal's Website Payments Pro, which allows merchants to offer shoppers more choice in how they pay for items.

Through the summer and fall, the acquisition train continued to roll…

In August, eBay completed its acquisition of Shopping.com, a global leader in comparison shopping with sites in the U.S., the U.K., and France. With approximately 50 million unique visitors a month, Shopping.com is the third largest shopping destination on the Web.

In September, eBay announced the acquisition of Skype, a global Internet communications company. Through its innovative peer-to-peer software, Skype offers high-quality voice communications to anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world.

In October, the company announced the acquisition of VeriSign's payment gateway business with the intent of combining it with PayPal's merchant services platform. The two companies also announced a strategic alliance to collaborate on payment services and security initiatives for e-commerce.

During 2005, the ever-growing eBay Community was also on a roll. A survey conducted for eBay by AC Nielsen International Research in July revealed that more than 724,000 Americans use eBay as their primary or secondary source of income. Not only had AuctionWeb served as the foundation for one hugely successful company, it had literally helped launch hundreds of thousands of other successful businesses in the U.S. alone.

As she concluded her anniversary comments to employees on Sept. 6, Meg singled out this positive impact the company has had on society. "We've enabled a global community of millions to share their passions, achieve their financial goals, and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams," she said. "And at 10 years, our incredible journey has only just begun!"

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