Tuesday, June 25, 2013

In Search of Tech Cred, eBay Builds a New Engine for a New Identity


SAN JOSE, Calif. — It was 2008, and eBay had a problem. Mark Carges had just arrived to lead the tech side of what the company would come to call the “turnaround” of its core marketplace business. The brand was stale. Revenue was leveling off. And eBay couldn’t just blame the recession.

Carges went into the eBay search box and typed “iPod.” The first thing that came up was a car.
“I looked at that and thought, this isn’t good,” Carges says.

Carges, today the company’s chief technology officer, says the less-than-relevant result was related to an issue with sponsored links. But that wasn’t the point. The company’s second-generation search technology was old, and it wasn’t working.

“It wasn’t just that it needed a new coat of paint,” Carges said. “We had lost our innovative approach to building software.”

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