Annual Report 2017

Feb 5, 2018 - could result in reduced operating margins, loss of market share and ...... December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 are derived from our ...
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Annual Report 2017

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Dear Stockholders, Since 2015, eBay has remained focused on executing its strategy of delivering the best choice, the most relevance and the most powerful selling platform for its customers. In 2017, the company accelerated its progress against this strategy, taking steps to improve the buying and selling experience on eBay through its innovation efforts. At the same time, the company delivered strong financial results and profitable growth, and maintained a disciplined approach to capital allocation. During the year, eBay returned $2.7 billion to stockholders in the form of share repurchases, bringing the total amount of shares repurchased since becoming a standalone business to $6.8 billion. Additionally, the company executed several M&A-related transactions to further its business priorities. Under the leadership of Devin Wenig and his executive team, eBay maintained a clear focus on accelerating growth and leveraging emerging technologies to evolve the eBay platform for the future, while staying true to its core belief that commerce should be transformational, rather than merely transactional. This determination to create a better, more sustainable form of commerce that creates opportunity for all people underpins eBay’s actions and sets it apart. On behalf of your Board of Directors, I would like to thank you for being a part of the global eBay community and for your continued support as we look forward to another year of progress. Thomas Tierney Chairman of the Board

To Our Stockholders, As I write this, a global debate about the role and responsibility of technology companies is playing out around the world. Facebook is under intense scrutiny for its handling of customer data; the President of the United States is tweeting about Amazon; and authorities in almost every jurisdiction globally are looking to impose punitive and novel new taxes on tech companies or the business they enable. This was not always the case. There was a period of time when the tech sector seemed immune from any substantial scrutiny or regulation. That was neither sustainable nor healthy, but now it seems as if the pendulum has swung fully back. I have always believed in the positive role technology can play in society. It represents the best of what humans can do — to strive, invent, build and serve. But technology only works over the long run when it enables people. Over the next few years, there will be a fight for the soul of the tech sector, with algorithms and robots pitted against a more humanistic vision of the future. eBay has always been an enabler of people and a champion of human values. The entrepreneurs who grow their businesses, support their families and connect to communities on our platform are the lifeblood of our company. For these reasons we will defend the role and benefits of technology, and the necessity of innovation and competition. In particular, we will continue to take public positions in support of free and fair trade, tax structures that do not penalize small businesses, and responsible immigration that allows us to foster innovation by attracting the best and brightest talent from around the world. eBay’s Culture eBay is a special place. It is a competitive, innovative and technology-driven business. At the same time, it has a human spirit and an authentic purpose. We are champions of inclusive commerce, where winning in the market is not subject to who you know, how you look or where you are from. Tens of millions of entrepreneurs use our platform to connect to 170 million customers around the world. Our sellers are real people building real businesses, and we are driven to serve them. In Silicon Valley’s hyper-competitive talent market, we attract great people and have low attrition because our employees feel that the work they do matters. We also understand that purpose only matters if it is sustained, and sustainability only happens if you win in the marketplace. We are driven to succeed, to innovate on behalf of customers and to fulfill the p