Supplement | HBS Case Collection | August 2008

Philipp Justus at eBay Germany (C)

by Linda A. Hill and Emily Stecker


This case traces the development of eBay Germany, eBay Inc., and the career of eBay Germany's first country manager, Philipp Justus. The case covers from 2000 through the fall of 2007. This case details how eBay Germany, once a small start-up, became one of eBay's most successful locations. The case reveals how Justus added seasoned leaders and structure to the group, while allowing for improvisation. The case also traces Justus's career, as he moved to running eBay Europe and ultimately, the auctions group, which took him to headquarters. Like eBay Germany, eBay itself grew tremendously, in part from acquisitions like PayPal and Skype. But, growth in core areas, like auctions, had slowed. This case explains how eBay Inc. and eBay Germany tried to keep their "secret sauce."

Keywords: Innovation and Management; Leadership; Auctions; Organizational Structure; Personal Development and Career; Internet; Germany;


Hill, Linda A., and Emily Stecker. "Philipp Justus at eBay Germany (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 409-029, August 2008.