R.J. Pittman from Apple has been hired by eBay for its new position of chief product officer for its marketplaces business. This hiring comes just in time for the popular company’s crucial holiday shopping season. Pittman had been at Apple since early 2010, when he left Google to become Apple's head of e-commerce.
Pittman will report directly to Devin Wenig, the president of eBay’s marketplaces division and will be put in charge of development as well as improving the customer shopping experience. Pittman will also oversee other additions to the site.
Wenig says that Pittman’s, “product and design expertise from his time at Apple will help at eBay. We’re starting to think about the next phase. Product and design is going to be an increasing focus of what we do, and a natural next step is organizing in a slightly different way.”
eBay announced Pittman’s hire just one day after its sales and profits forecast for the fourth quarter fell short of estimates. The quarter is vital to the company given the amount of holiday shopping now done online. Following the release of the outlook, eBay shares dropped 6.2 percent.
“eBay is combining groups that work on consumer experiences while also combining those technology and data teams," Wenig said.
Pittman's departure also comes just days after Apple announced that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts was joining the company in the spring as head of retail and online store operations.
Pittman told AllThingsD, “I think it’s pretty clear today eBay dominates the marketplace category. I’m excited to come in and reinvent the way people buy and sell. I loved what I was doing at Apple; it’s a great company … but eBay is on a completely different level by an order of magnitude when it comes to e-commerce.”
Edited by Stefania Viscusi