eBay said that Marc Andreessen will join the online auctioneer's board of directors.
The move, which is effectively immediately, brings some additional brainpower to eBay, which is trying to fend off rivals such as Amazon and Google. For instance, Amazon's fixed price model has been attracting merchants to its network. To counter, eBay moved to add more goods to its platform and encourage fixed prices.
In a statement, eBay chief John Donahoe said that Andreessen brings some visionary mojo as the company retools. Andreessen's ventures have included Ning, Opsware and Netscape. Donahoe said:
“We look forward to learning from Marc’s insights and expertise as we drive further innovation on our platform, invest in growth opportunities and develop technology that will further benefit our customers, build powerful communities and enhance e-commerce.”
Hmmm. Is it just coincidence that Donahoe is talking about powerful communities when Andreessen's current baby--Ning--is a social networking platform. Can you say exit strategy?
Admittedly, that eBay buying Ning idea is a leap, but crazier things--like eBay's acquisition of Skype--have happened.