In news that has disgusted silicon valley, it has come to light that senior executives at eBay were involved in a depraved campaign of harassment against a journalist couple who had written negative headlines about the marketplace site.
eBay has reportedly confirmed that in the summer of 2019 former CEO Devin Wenig sent a text message to former Security Director James Baugh with the words “I want her DONE” referring to a journalist who had written negative headlines about the corporation. Although there is no indication that Wenig was aware of the details of the campaign of intimidation that ensued, there is speculation that the investigation into the campaign was a reason for his departure as CEO in September of 2019.
The torrent of abuse and intimidation allegedly unleashed by Baugh and associates in response to the text message allegedly included deliveries of cockroaches, pornography and a dead pig to the house of bloggers who wrote newsletters that were critical of eBay. In total, 6 former company employees stand accused of what Massachusetts attorney Andrew Lelling described as an “extensive and disturbing campaign of harassment” which even included eBay employees flying across the country to surveil and harass the un-named couple in person.
The news will come at a bad time for the marketplace giant as its stock price is at historic highs with bidding reportedly already underway in the eagerly anticipated sale of its classifieds division. Those of us who report on eBay hope that this appalling incident is an isolated one and that those in charge now have decidedly thicker skin than their predecessors.