eBay Inc.: The Portfolio Decision
(5 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
In January 2019, eBay Inc. (eBay), a California-based e-commerce company, faced an activist campaign centred on its portfolio of businesses. Elliott Management Corporation, the hedge fund leading the campaign, believed that StubHub and Classifieds, two of eBay’s companies, did not belong in eBay’s portfolio and that their real value was hidden by eBay’s ownership. The hedge fund also argued that the lack of focus in eBay’s portfolio was distracting the company’s senior management from Marketplace, eBay’s core business, which was facing stiff competition from other major online retailers. What should the chief executive officer and board chairman do to address these charges about eBay’s corporate strategy?
The case examines eBay’s corporate strategy for managing its portfolio of businesses. The case can be used in both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on strategic management, ideally in the second half of the course, after discussing the basic concepts. After reading and discussing this case, students will be able to do the following:
- Understand the nature of corporate strategy in a multi-business firm.
- Examine the relatedness in a multi-business company’s portfolio.
- Identify the role played by the corporate office in a multi-business firm.
United States, Large, 2019
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