After 18 months without a CMO, eBay is tapping a new chief marketer.
Richelle ParhamThe online giant is expected to announce today that it is adding Richelle Parham, a Visa alum, to its executive ranks. Ms. Parham fills a role that was vacated by Mike Linton in early 2009. Greg Fant, VP-marketing, had been lead marketer for the company. He is leaving the company as of today, while Ms. Parham will begin work Nov. 8.
Ms. Parham will serve as the marketing chief for the company's North American business and report directly to Christopher Payne, head of eBay North America. She will be charged with evolving the retailer's mobile technology platforms, as well as its vertical shopping experiences. She will also be focused on eBay's ongoing turnaround efforts.
Most recently Ms. Parham served as head of global marketing innovation and initiatives at Visa. Prior to that, she led global marketing services for the credit card company. She also spent 13 years at Digitas in various roles, including senior-VP and general manager of the agency's Chicago office.
EBay has been focused on improving customer service, as it looks to better compete with rivals such as Amazon and Zappos. Business has been improving, with the company reporting revenue for the second quarter was up 6% to $2.2 billion. Its stock price has also rebounded. It closed at $25.68 today, after going as low as $10.43 in early 2009. The first year of the recession was tougher on the company than it was on some of its competitors.
EBay's measured media spending has been on the rise. It increased spending by 17% to $89 million last year over the prior year. Through July it spent $32 million, according to Kantar Media. The retailer's agencies include Edelman and Airfoil, a small public relations firm. It does not have a creative agency of record.