Ebay on Monday named Mazen Rawashdeh senior vice president and chief technology officer. Rawashdeh previously worked at eBay from 2003 to 2011 and returned in 2016 to lead the company’s platform engineering department, according to a company press release.
The e-commerce marketplace also named Pete Thompson senior vice president and chief product officer. He will work on simplifying eBay’s shopping experience, per the release. Thompson was most recently vice president of Alexa Voice Service at Amazon.
Thompson and Rawashdeh are joined by Scott Gaffney, most recently of Yahoo, as vice president of search engineering, and eBay veteran Steve Metz, who returns to the company from Amazon to serve as vice president of product analytics.
EBay’s hiring announcement provides insight into its technological priorities. Thompson, who previously led Alexa efforts at Amazon, served as chief operating officer of TiVo before that and also has experience at Microsoft. Rawashdeh, during his years away from eBay, was vice president of infrastructure operation engineering at Twitter. As CTO, he "will continue to lead platform engineering and the Company’s infrastructure and platform architecture, as well as AI, research and data science, payment and risk engineering, and eBay’s third-party developer ecosystem and APIs," according to the company.
Among the many growth initiatives highlighted in a company blog post to announce its second quarter revenue was the introduction of new APIs to assist third-party sellers in managing their eBay listings and payments. EBay recently added machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to its visual shopping feature, along with further customizing user homepages to show items that fit their interests.
That focus on technology may help push the marketplace, which includes StubHub event ticket sales and the Classifieds platform, into a more equal playing field with Amazon. Ebay’s second quarter revenue announcement showed an increase in active buyers by 4% across its platforms.