eBay Developer Program Chief Departs

    October 4, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Greg Isaacs had been instrumental in prodding the online marketplace to open tool to developers that permit third parties to build applications using eBay’s data through application programming interfaces (API).

eBay Developer Program Chief Departs
eBay Loses The Greg Isaacs Auction

It isn’t clear where Isaacs will turn up next, though rumors cited at BloggingStocks suggest a startup is in his future.

He has been an advocate for opening up resources to developers who can find new ways to tap eBay’s massive index of product and auction information. Some developers have created ways to apply eBay’s data to build startups that profit both themselves and eBay.

Isaacs made a brief mention of his decision to depart on his blog:

I just got back from a 4 week sabbatical and have made the very difficult decision to leave eBay. I posted more details on the eBay Developers Program blog and plan to update my blog in a couple weeks with more details on where I’m going/what I’m doing, etc.

His blog entry referenced above noted he had been with eBay for five and a half years. “Adam Trachtenberg, who has been leading our Evangelism, Community & Product efforts and Rob Cross, who runs our Market Development and Certified Provider Program, will be leading this team after my departure,” Isaacs wrote.

BloggingStocks also referred to a July story on CNNMoney’s Business 2.0 Journal that rated Isaacs 31st in its “50 People Who Matter” list:

You won’t find his name on eBay’s senior management roster, but Isaacs is critical to the growth prospects of the $4.6 billion company, which is increasingly threatened by competition from the likes of Amazon, Craigslist, Google, Swaptree, and countless other online discounters and marketplaces.

Isaacs’s job is to make eBay as indispensable to the Web at large as, say, Google Maps. But to do that, he first had to persuade eBay’s brass to open up its auction database so outside software developers could build business-to-business tools and consumer-friendly widgets around it.

Isaacs probably won’t have any problem finding a new employer. EBay has the harder task of replacing him, probably indicated best by Isaacs saying two people will take over his role in the company.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.