“[D]iversity is one of the most valuable assets we have.”
EBay CEO Devin Wenig has largely avoided discussing the U.S. presidential election in public.
But in the wake of Donald Trump’s surprise victory on Tuesday, Wenig sent out a company-wide note — which Recode got its hands on — to eBay’s global staff on Wednesday,
In it, Wenig acknowledged the “sense of fear and disruption caused by the impact that changing economic trends, including technology innovation, are having on people’s lives.” He then made the case for eBay as a tech platform that erases boundaries rather than builds them.
Wenig highlighted that eBay was founded by an immigrant, the French-born entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar, in a not-so-veiled nod to the anti-immigrant push that galvanized Trump’s base. The CEO also noted that employees of all backgrounds are critical to the success of a global company like eBay.
“This diversity is one of the most valuable assets we have as we drive our business forward.”
Wenig donated $2,700 to the Hillary Clinton campaign last year, according to public records.
Here’s the full memo:
The United States has chosen its next President. This has been an historic and emotionally-charged election.
Just a few months ago, voters in the UK made a similarly historic decision regarding their relationship with the European Union. People are expressing sentiments that economic progress has not been distributed fairly. We’ve also seen a sense of fear and disruption caused by the impact that changing economic trends, including technology innovation, are having on people’s lives.
While I’ve avoided commenting directly on candidates or elections through this period, it’s clear to me that as a global technology leader, what we say and what we do matters. eBay was founded by an immigrant to the US. Pierre built our business on the belief that people are basically good, and this enduring heritage is one of the reasons I’m proud to lead this company.
From the beginning, eBay has worked to create a marketplace that is inclusive, fair, fostered by global trade, and empowered by small business entrepreneurship. As I travel to our offices around the world, I have the privilege to interact with people of countless nationalities and backgrounds. This diversity is one of the most valuable assets we have as we drive our business forward.
While we are a technology leader, our platform is centered around people — buyers, sellers and our employees. We connect people through the power of a global marketplace. In an era where technology can be miscast as dehumanizing and disruptive, we represent a philosophy where technology can lift people and create opportunity at all levels. We will continue to advocate for principles and policies that support the needs of the global eBay community, and I will continue to speak publicly about inclusion, trade, and the positive role that technology can play in peoples’ lives around the world.
For now, we have a lot of work to do, and an approaching holiday season. We must stay focused on the task at hand. Our company is on the right track, but it will take all of our efforts to ensure that we finish what we started in 2016, and position the company for acceleration in 2017.
While political seasons come and go, we will remember who we are, why we exist, and who we serve.