Moving on, Leaving eBay

I wrote this post last Saturday, but as the financial results for Q2 for Geeknet were only announced today, I decided to wait with public posting until after these were announced.

Restless sleep, early wake ups and nervous moments. The last week was a tough one! Last Friday, after 9+ years, was my last day at eBay. Leaving a company where you worked for so long, feel like ending a long term relationship. And when the job was your first one fresh out of university, it feels like loosing your very first love…. But yes, it was my last day, and when I walked out of the office at Hamilton Ave in San Jose at 5.30pm, I felt empty and exhausted. When I got home, I crashed and slept from 8pm until 8am, 12 hours straight. I guess I had some recovery sleep to do after the 3 hours nights of the last couple of days!

The years I’ve spent at eBay have formed me in the way I work. Obviously my parents had more influence on my character, but 9 years with the same company will have a profound impact on your ways of working. I’ve been blessed to spent my first decade in the workforce with a great company like eBay. The internal values and behaviors the founder, Pierre Omidyar has set up in the early beginning make for a good work ethos. I will carry these values with me for the rest of my life.

I love eBay! The decision to leave such a great company, efficient business model, talented colleagues, endless amount of data and cutting edge technology was a hard one. But sometimes you have to cut the cord to move forward and grow into the new stages in life you have set out for yourself. But there is no doubt that I will miss every part of my former job!

My favorite highlights…

There are so many highlights, too many to list. Here are some of my favorite highlights of my 9 years at eBay

-          All in one year: meeting Fiona, moving from Amsterdam to San Francisco for a new job within eBay, getting married AND having my daughter, Bo-Jools born. Lesson learned: Moving fast will make for a SMART business model, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relative & Timely

-          Marketing college in San Jose, meeting David Knight, who brought me over to the US one year later. Lesson learned: Network! David is still a close friend of mine!

-          Organizing the ever growing IM summits in Tallinn Estonia (75 attendees), Dublin Ireland (150 attendees) and Prague Czech Republic (250 attendees), without any casualties or missing persons. Lesson learned: Don’t leave a man on the field, you leave the bar last if you’re responsible!

-          eBay Live in Las Vegas, Boston & Chicago. Lesson learned: the real value of eBay is in its community of buyers & sellers

-          Working on the Pietersberg Strategy, “How to beat Marktplaats”, which resulted in the acquisition of the leading Dutch classifieds site for $300M. Lesson learned: if you can’t beat them, buy them. Marktplaats is currently the biggest and most successful classifieds site in eBay's portfolio.

-          Bringing SEO back on the radar with Executive team and the whole company, after falling off. Lesson learned: read the book, The Dip, when to quit and when to stick

-          Representing eBay at 7 SEO conferences, eBay DevCon & Paypal X as a speaker. Lesson learned: Building your external brand accelerates your market value.

-          Hosting the Dutch Ambassador at the eBay campus with a welcome from John Donahue Lesson learned: don’t get intimidated

-          Submitting my first patent: “Method for Automatic Document generation based on Referral”. Lesson learned: you don’t have to be work in technology to file patents.

-             Traveling to 14 countries, on 5 continents. Lesson learned: pack light so you take all as carry on luggage

  • France, Germany, Belgium, UK, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, Estonia, China, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic
  • Europe, North- & South America, Asia & Australia

-          The Usual… For those in the known, there is a lesson here as well…

Picture below is the team I worked with: eBay SEO team 2011

Where I’m going

In my search for a next challenge and opportunity, I decided to be on the look out for a smaller company with a large opportunity.  After 9 years at a large company, with all the good, the bad and the ugly that comes with it, I want to experience a different working environment, different challenges and new opportunities to grow and stretch myself. I found this in a 17 year old company, listed on the Nasdaq: Geeknet Inc.

Although not a startup, the company has big potential and advantages. Balance sheet very healthy, no debt and cash in the bank, a couple of old, focused internet brands, brand new executive team with big plans, and reasonable stock price, where the company did a reverse stock split last year.

As of August 1st, I will be joining Geeknet Inc. as Vice President of Internet Marketing Media. The Media group at Geeknet manages the websites Slashdot, Sourceforge and Freshmeat.

I’m very excited to start working with these websites. Especially Slashdot, as this is one of the old phenomenon websites out of the dotcom bubble age. Who doesn’t know the Slashdot effect…? If you don’t, you probably are not Geeky enough.. J. Before there was Digg, before there was Techmeme, there was, and still is: Slashdot; News for Nerds, Stuff that matters!

But also starting to understand, appreciate and use open source software in my own projects, makes this opportunity super exciting for me. I feel this is a new chapter in my life, in which I will learn so much new stuff. Over the last 2 years, with the TFNS Strategy and platform development and working on my own websites, my interest has grown into the field of open source software and application development.

In this position, I will be using the skills and learning’s from my tenure at eBay. I will focus on SEO, Social Media and email as free traffic drivers for the three sites, and I will conduct paid advertising as Paid search ads or deep partner relationships with other relevant websites.

Thank you!

I’m very thankful for what I’ve learned, the opportunities I’ve been given and more importantly, the people I’ve had the pleasure working with. You ALL ROCK!I'm sure I will miss a lot of eBay, but most I will miss is working with the great colleagues and friends I've made over the years!


Bottle of Chandon autographed by Meg Whitman

Comments

  1. Dennis!

    I am so happy for you, my friend. Slashdot! You’ve got Slashdot! How cool is that? I am truly honored to have come to meet you and slowly build a friendship. Geeknet’s going to be in for some major wins with you on board!

    1. Dennis says:

      Thanks Alan,

      Trust me, I can’t wait until I will meet cmdr Taco and shake his hand.
      Looking forward to the next Epic dinner to share stories.

      DG

  2. Scott Cowley says:

    Best of luck, Dennis! You’ll never know what you can do until you jump into something new. You’ll do great!

    1. Dennis says:

      Thanks Scott,
      As I’ve learned from the book “Who Moved My Cheese”: What would you do if you weren’t afraid…

      DG

  3. J9 says:

    Congrats Dennis! All the best.

    1. Dennis says:

      J9, you here.
      Thank you so much… it was a pleasure to have worked with you at Marktplaats.

      Cheers
      DG

  4. Andreas says:

    Best of luck with the new venture! Andreas

    1. Dennis says:

      Thanks Andreas, hope you are doing well in LA.

      DG

  5. Joe B. says:

    It was great to work with and learn from you, stay in touch, almaden isn’t that big…

    1. Dennis says:

      Joe B.
      If you don’t mind I keep hitting you up for coaching and advice.
      You have been an inspiration for me and more important: a friend.

      Looking forward to when our paths will cross again.
      Thank you!
      DG

  6. Nuttakorn says:

    Wish of luck and congrats to your new role. Slashdot!

    1. Dennis says:

      Thanks Nuttakorn.
      /.

  7. Hi Dennis – I didn’t think you would better your current role but I strongly believe you just have – simply amazing! best of luck and serious congratulations.

    1. Dennis says:

      Thanks David,
      Always moving forward and looking for opportunities.

      Cheers

      DG

  8. Christian says:

    Hey Dennis,
    it has been great seeing you in SJ. It has been great working with you and I will miss seeing you in the office. I hope we stay in touch. And in a true SEO manner I wish you good luck by including a commentary spam link to my Boef Stroganoff (I need to rank better on this one!) :-)
    Take care!
    Christian

  9. Dennis says:

    Likewise Christian,
    It was always a pleasure, and next time you will prepare the Kobe Beef, I will be there.
    Too bad you have identified yourself now as a comment spammer, and the link you posted has a no-follow.

    I will throw you a bone here, and see what I can do here: Boeuf Bourguignon.

    Stay in touch, as I’m just moving back to SF…

    DG

  10. Julien Decot says:

    Congrats Dennis, very happy for you. No doubt you ll rock it.

    Julien

    1. Dennis says:

      Thanks Julian,
      Hope we will move back to SF soon, so we can hang out and watch some football

      How are you?

      DG

  11. Nishant says:

    Hey DG,

    So it’s all said and done :) Congratulations man. I saw the team pic and went back to the good old times. I miss all you guys. Wish you all the best in your new gig. Go rock !!

    1. Dennis says:

      We have missed you too Nishant.
      We should have photoshopped you in the picture.

      How are things in India?

      DG

  12. Isolde says:

    Wow Dennis, big change! But you know what they say: with change comes opportunity.
    All the best to you!

    1. Dennis says:

      Thank you Isolde,
      Hope all is good with you and the little one.
      Much more important stuff than this!

      DG

      1. Isolde says:

        Indeed! Both little ones are doing fine, thanks.

  13. Congratulations Dennis, looking forward to seeing what you do with your new projects. Best of luck.

    1. Dennis says:

      Thanks Liam,
      You will probably read more from me at the well known place we hang out!

      DG

      1. Then that’s a double win for me!

  14. A million dollars in GMV isn’t cool.

    A billion dollars in GMV isn’t even cool.

    You know what’s cool?

    Slash f***ing dot. That’s what’s cool.

    Great stuff DG. Good luck!

    1. Dennis says:

      1 million dollars in GMV > Did that…
      1 billion dollars in GMV > Hell, I did even 2

      But Slashdot… Hell Yeah!

      Thanks Nigel

  15. Nima says:

    Hey Dennis,

    Visiting Whitman office and not seeing you around needs some getting used to….

    Good luck,

    Nima

  16. […] After 9.5 years with one company, it is good to change scenery and see how it's done somewhere else. Especially if the company is your first employer. You can read my full post on my blog here: Leaving eBay […]

  17. Nakul Goyal says:

    I can imagine the last day feeling at eBay Dennis. Hope to see you at Pubcon again this year.

  18. […] 9.5 years, I left eBay and joined Geeknet Inc. as their VP of Internet Marketing. In this role I’m responsible for all […]