Exclusive: Former India head Latif Nathani quits eBay

17 Mar, 2017

Latif Nathani, who was heading eBay's India business up until recently, has resigned from the company. Nathani served as the managing director and vice president of eBay India since May 2013 until last month when he moved back to the US.

Nathani decided to move to the US for personal reasons, a person aware of the development said. However, he decided to quit as the company couldn't offer him a suitable position in its headquarters in San Jose, California.

When contacted, Nathani said he is serving as a consultant for eBay. "I am currently consulting for eBay Corp and hope to decide on my next move after a short break," he told VCCircle in an emailed response.

However, an eBay spokesperson said Nathani will continue to support eBay. "Latif Nathani who was VP and MD at eBay India, has decided to rejoin his family in US and will support global business development efforts from eBay HQ in San Jose," the spokesperson explained.

Meanwhile, the US-based online selling platform has appointed Vidmay Naini, an eBay India old-timer, as the new country manager. Naini, who held the role of director and business head in his most recent assignment, has been with eBay for nearly 12 years now.

"Effective March 1, 2017, Vidmay Naini has assumed the role of Country Manager, eBay India and will lead the India business," an eBay spokesperson said.

However, the managing director post still remains vacant. The Mint newspaper first reported about the Nathani's move to the US and Naini's appointment.

Nathani, who took over as the country manager when his predecessor Muralikrishnan B resigned, came to eBay with 22 years of experience, including stints at Microsoft and Symantec. He served as the chief executive of product strategy consulting firm MrLMN.com before joining eBay. He also led the consumer incubator for Microsoft India (including equity investments in mobile payments), headed global product marketing for Symantec's Norton business and was co-founder of eMemories.com.

Last month, Ramkumar Narayanan, general manager and global head of monetisation products at eBay Marketplaces in India, had quit the company. He was primarily responsible for generating revenues for eBay.

eBay Inc. entered India after acquiring an existing online site Bazee.com in 2004, much before Flipkart or Amazon started business in the country. However, due to heavy investments from other competitors, the company could not thrive on its early-mover advantage in the country.

The Indian arm of the US-based online selling platform reported a three-fold rise in revenue and a wider loss for the financial year 2015-16. According to filings with the Registrar of Companies, eBay reported losses of Rs 262 crore for the year ended March 2016 versus Rs 172 crore in the same year-ago period. Revenues soared to Rs 392 crore in 2015-16 from Rs 132 crore in the previous financial year.

In November 2016, eBay dismissed nearly 30% of the product and technology teams at its development centre in Bengaluru. The work done by these teams was transferred to other global locations, the company had said. The company has been trimming its global workforce since 2015 when it had laid off 350 people from its marketplace and payments entity PayPal, which it acquired in 2002.