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Yahoo swipes PayPal exec; EBay boss John Donahoe to run unit

January 4, 2012 | 10:09 am

PayPal president Scott Thompson's departure to run Yahoo took a lot of people by surprise (although not Kara Swisher, natch). That includes EBay's chief executive, John Donahoe.

Donahoe dispatched an email to PayPal employees Wednesday morning, saying Thompson told him Tuesday he was leaving to become the next chief executive of Yahoo. Keeping a secret of that caliber in the insular tech community is deserving of Oscar consideration.

Donahoe
"Scott informed me Tuesday afternoon, saying that despite his passion for PayPal, this was an opportunity he felt he had to take," Donahoe said. "While I'm sure Scott's decision is a shock to many of you, as it was to me, there is one thing I am certain of: PayPal has an enormous opportunity in front of it and we will not slow down."

Yahoo announced Wednesday that Thompson is its new CEO tasked with reviving the struggling Internet company.

His departure creates a big void on the management team at EBay, which now must search for his replacement.

Thompson was its president since 2008. Donahoe has predicted that the PayPal unit will become bigger than EBay in as little as two years.

For the time being, Donahoe will run the unit himself.

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-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: EBay CEO John Donahoe Photo credit: EBay

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