In the exact type of shopping spree eBay doesn’t want to see, Walmart is looking for technical employees – and eBay looks to be its new favorite supplier.
According to reports in The Wall Street Journal, Walmart has poached 65 technology professionals in its attempts to buttress its eCommerce business. Walmart is looking to further develop its open source software, data analytics, and search and cloud capabilities as it beefs up to take on Amazon in the battle for Web dominance. In the last two years alone, at least 49 tech experts have left eBay for Walmart, according to research by CIO Journal.
And Walmart is willing to meet the experts where they work – for now. Walmart established a Silicon Valley office in San Bruno and last year set up a new one in Sunnyvale – right around the corner from eBay’s headquarters.
Subtle is not what Walmart is known for.
And these days, Walmart might just be making a winning pitch to the techies – eBay laid off 2,400 in January and plans to sell off PayPal next quarter. It has already sold off its 28.4 percent stake in Craigslist.
“People see the writing on the wall, and an opportunity with Walmrt looks pretty good,” said Greg Buzek, principal at IHL Group, a retail technology consultancy. “The world’s biggest retailer is going up against the dominant online retailer,” he said. “Walmart can’t be on Amazon’s cloud.”
Neither Walmart nor eBay made executives available for interviews.
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