Pittman will be trying to launch unified customer experiences that align with eBay's brand -- and release them globally, not just in the U.S.
EBay hired Apple e-commerce executive RJ Pittman to run a new product group for the company's online Marketplaces business and help it expand globally.
Pittman will be senior vice president and chief product officer, reporting to eBay President Devin Wenig. In this newly created position, Pittman will lead eBay's product and development strategy for Marketplaces, overseeing a team of more than 1,000 employees.
Pittman ran Apple's Worldwide E-Commerce Platform, integrated it with Apple's retail business and led an international expansion team responsible for developing commerce opportunities in 38 countries.
EBay CEO John Donahoe and Marketplaces President Devin Wenig are trying to expand the company's online marketplace to developing and emerging markets including Russia, Brazil and India.
"We're getting a world-class leader for the next phase," Wenig told USA TODAY. "This feels like the right step to expand our mobile lead and produce new end-to-end product experiences for buyers and sellers."
Hiring Pittman should help with the overseas push, which eBay hopes will be a major source of growth for the company in coming years.
"One of things we strove to do at Apple was to create the best experience for any customer in any country, in any language and any currency," Pittman said in an interview Thursday.
At eBay, Pittman will be trying to launch unified customer experiences that align with eBay's brand -- and release them globally, not just in the U.S.
"So much of the commerce opportunity that I see is coming outside the U.S., in emerging markets especially," Pittman added.
His departure from Apple comes amid a shake-up in that company's retail business. Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is joining the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant as senior vice president of its retail and online stores.
Pittman said he left Apple because eBay is so focused on his area of expertise.
"Apple is a fantastic organization and we did some major things in e-commerce over there in the past few years. But from an e-commerce and marketplace perspective eBay dominates this category," he explained.
"This gives me the opportunity to make the biggest impact on the world," he added. "EBay is in a very opportunistic position with the work Devin and his team has done so far. There's plenty of innovation and disruption to come in this category."