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Meg Whitman’s 8-Step Change at eBay Case Study

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Updated: Feb 12th, 2021

Introduction

Meg Whitman exploited Kotter’s Eight Step Process for Creating Major Change to turn eBay into the company it is now. First, the new CEO created a sense of urgency. Whitman ran numerous meetings with the company’s employees. She ensured the staff that the company was doing fine, but it was steadily evolving into something new. She explained that they were to help the company evolve into a huge and successful enterprise. Thus, she used the first step of Kotter’s process of change, i.e. she made employees understand that the change was vital.

Main Body

One of the examples of the use of Step 2 (i.e. forming the guiding coalition) is Whitman’s desire to work with Omidyar. Whitman claimed that Omidyar knew the companies’ employees better than anyone else. She understood that Omidyar would be the leader who would lead the employees effectively. One more example of the use of this step is Whitman’s decision to divide the employees into groups of professionals responsible for exact processes. They also hired high-profile marketing and legal professionals. Initially, the company consisted of engineers who shared responsibility, though the growth of the company made it impossible for this structure to be effective.

Whitman came up with a vision. She created it on the basis of the company’s values, i.e. community and fairness. The CEO understood that the company’s values were the reason why it had become successful. Whitman knew it was impossible to change that, but she also created the vision to fit a big company that could be successful in the global market. Therefore, this can be an example of step 3, i.e. creating a vision.

An example of the fourth step is Whitman’s way to make her vision and strategy work. She effectively communicated her vision to the head of the company as well as every employee. The CEO managed to convince employees that the company was evolving and it needed to change the strategy. However, the major values were still taken into account and the idea of community and fairness was at the core of the new strategy.

One of the examples of the use of Step 5, i.e. empowering action, was the way decisions were made. Thus, Whitman notes that the company was characterized by a very particular feature as there was no wrong side. Employees were encouraged to question decisions and come up with ideas and options. This was effective as they could get more data to make the right decision.

The sixth step is generating short-term wins. Whitman claimed that the company was growing. Thus, one of the short-term wins was the growth of the company. In fact, the company was growing really fast so employees could see how effective the new strategy was.

One of the examples of Step 7 (Consolidating Gains) is the way the company acquired other auctions. Thus, the acquisition of Butterfield & Butterfield enabled the company to enter the new market, i.e. the market of higher-end products. Admittedly, this was a very successful step as it led to an increase in revenue. Another example of the implementation of Step 7 is the decision to hire more employees. Thus, Whitman and Omidyar made a decision to have 300 employees and about 300 employees in the companies which eBay had acquired.

Conclusion

An example of Step 8 is Whitman’s consistency in HR management. They hire people and make sure these people have the same values and are ready to share the company’s vision.

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IvyPanda. (2021, February 12). Meg Whitman's 8-Step Change at eBay. https://ivypanda.com/essays/meg-whitmans-8-step-change-at-ebay/

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"Meg Whitman's 8-Step Change at eBay." IvyPanda, 12 Feb. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/meg-whitmans-8-step-change-at-ebay/.

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IvyPanda. "Meg Whitman's 8-Step Change at eBay." February 12, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/meg-whitmans-8-step-change-at-ebay/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Meg Whitman's 8-Step Change at eBay." February 12, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/meg-whitmans-8-step-change-at-ebay/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Meg Whitman's 8-Step Change at eBay'. 12 February.

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