A former eBay communications chief and veteran public relations executive was involved in a campaign to cyberstalk and harass a Massachusetts couple behind a newsletter critical of the online retailer, according to a Bloomberg report.
Steven Wymer, who oversaw public relations at eBay for nine months in 2019, has not been charged with any crimes.
However, Wymer was “Executive 2” in a federal indictment of six former eBay staffers and executives for waging a campaign of cyber harassment and surveillance, according to the news outlet, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
As Executive No. 2, Wymer is alleged to have authored an email that has quickly become infamous, writing in April 2019, “We are going to crush this lady,” in a note to eBay’s CEO at the time.
The email was in response to a piece in the couple’s newsletter on the compensation of eBay’s former CEO, Devin Wenig, who is referred to in the complaint as “Executive 1” but who, like Wymer, has not been charged.
Before joining eBay, Wymer worked in public relations at two other tech companies, Nextdoor.com and Tivo.
The campaign of cyberstalking allegedly escalated to surveillance and the mailing of packages to the Natick couple that contained, among other things, a bloody Halloween pig mask and a book on surviving the death of a spouse, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal district court in Boston.
“These deliveries included fly larvae and live spiders, a box of live cockroaches, a sympathy wreath on the occasion of the death of a loved one, a book of advice on how to survive the death of a spouse,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said Monday (June 15) at a news conference in Boston, according to CBS Boston.
“To be clear, based on the complaint unsealed today, eBay executives were not just unhappy about the victims' coverage, they were enraged. One of those executives texted that he wanted to ‘crush this lady,'” Lelling added.
As reported in this space on Monday, eBay said in a statement that it does not tolerate the behavior described in the complaint.