Breaking: eBay to sell office chairs back to Ikea
Hot on the heels of the shocking news that in the space of just two days eBay had agreed a sale of Stumbleupon back to the original founders and decided to IPO their $2.7bn Skype business next year, came the latest announcement that eBay have also agreed the firesale of all their unused office furniture back to Ikea.
eBay’s track record for M&A activity has been a highlight for them in the last few years as they have bought of number of obviously ‘synergistic’ companies who they have developed and highly integrated into their core auction business. However with this latest announcement is a clear admission that their purchase of 15,000 Billy bookcases, 10,000 Jerker computer desks and nearly 30,000 pink Spänka office chairs, was a huge mistake from their corporate strategy team.
CEO John Donahoe took a break from listing 100 broken Etch-a-Sketches on eBay.fr for 99p and $100 P&P and told us:
“Look. I may look to you like a man who is 8 foot tall but with the head of a six year old boy, but I’m all about this internet thing. eBay is about connecting stuff to people. It’s the “You want. I get” model that we’ve pioneered. You want a 2 gig memory stick? I get $26m in options this year. You want a cheap laptop? I get to laugh at you when a bag of turnips turn up on your doorstep. It’s simple. Skype and Stumbleupon were clearly similar businesses for us to invest in and we used the same model. You want to know what I’m up to as CEO? Nope. I get to do just what the hell I want. Boom.”
However he admitted that their aggressive acquisition of cheap Ikea furniture during the January sales was an error:
“Yeah dude, so that was so an error. I had no idea what was going on – I just saw this really freaking awesome Powerpoint, you know like the animation were all really mad yo and it had these slick-ass transitions. I think it might have been PowerPoint 2007 – , I so want that one. Do you have it? Man anyway, so I saw this deck, signed something, and next thing I know there are 14 lorry containers of this weird Swedish furniture I have no idea what to do with. I saw it and was like: ‘WTF is this?’ I mean I told everyone we were going to use them in the existing offices and meeting rooms but in reality I just quietly shoved it all in this dirty lock-up with this hobo and his dog-on-string for the last 2 years. “
eBay are expected to get around $2.50 and some of those really cheap hotdogs in return for their $10m dollar investment while Ikea’s 17 year old sales rep in the San Jose branch couldn’t stop laughing when we tried to interview him.