eBay's hot potato toss with tail between legs

Sally Khudairi (sk@zotgroup.com)
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 07:58:32 -0400

Again, from Online Reporter.

Interesting that eBay was able to command *55* Sun/Oracle/Veritas engineers
onsite to help, and the Solaris-StarFire cocktail hasn't been cleared of the
55 engineers! That just blows me away.

OR 152-18 No Sales, No Views, No Server

Prolonged outages at online auctioneer eBay have left its members
howling and the red-faced company scurrying for fixes. After the
latest outage, the company now admits it hasn't lived up to its
members' expectations and claims to "have taken a serious look at
our priorities." In a joint letter of apology addressed to eBay
members, CEO Meg Whitman and founder Pierre Omidyar said: "We just
want to make it work." The company promised to refund all fees for
all active auctions from June 9-11, a number that's been estimated
to run into the millions of dollars. On Monday, eBay was down nearly
30 points, or 18%, to 136. By Thursday, it rebounded, closing at
146 3/4.

eBay blamed the outage on problems with the Solaris operating system
on the Sun Star-fire servers. An eBay spokesman said 55 engineers
from Sun, Oracle and Veritas had rushed to the site to fix the
problem. He said tests had revealed no problems with either Oracle's
or Veritas' software. The eBay spokesman said the company had
isolated a massive corruption of the data system but was still
looking "under the hood" to get a full report.

eBay said it plans to accelerate the process of hiring more
engineering staff and also bring in a "higher-than-mid-management"
person in engineering suggesting there could be changes in the role
of Michael Wilson, eBay's SVP of product development and site
operations. But the company's spokesman declined to provide any