Ebay's ex-PR boss reportedly told former CEO Devin Wenig 'we are going to crush' the woman targeted in the bizarre pig fetus and porn harassment allegations

Ebay's ex-PR boss reportedly told former CEO Devin Wenig 'we are going to crush' the woman targeted in the bizarre pig fetus and porn harassment allegations
Former eBay PR chief Steven Wymer, left, and ex-CEO Devin Wenig.Ebay; David A.Grogan/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank
  • Earlier this week, the Department of Justice charged six former eBay employees in connection with a 2019 cyberstalking campaign against company critics, who were allegedly sent anonymous packages including a bloody pig Halloween mask and a book "on surviving the loss of a spouse."
  • Sources have told Bloomberg that the two executives named in the federal indictment are ex-CEO Devin Wenig and ex-PR chief Steven Wyman.
  • Although the DOJ has charged neither former executive, court documents allege the two exchanged texts about the critics ahead of the campaign, saying, "We are going to crush this lady" and "Take her down."

EBay's ex-CEO and ex-PR head exchanged text messages about "crushing" company critics before employees allegedly organized a cyberstalking campaign against them, according to Bloomberg.

Two people familiar with the matter have revealed to Bloomberg that Steven Wymer and Devin Wenig are the two unnamed executives in a federal indictment revealed earlier this week against former eBay employees. The Department of Justice is charging the six former eBay employees in connection with a 2019 harassment campaign targeting a Massachusetts couple who published critical stories about the company in a newsletter.

Although federal authorities are not charging the two executives, court documents detail text messages and emails exchanged between the higher-ups regarding the company critics prior to and during the cyberstalking campaign. According to court documents, Executive 2 — which Bloomberg says is Wymer, the ex-head of communications — sent a text message to Executive 1 — identified as ex-CEO Wenig — telling him, "We are going to crush this lady." Later on Executive 1 sent Executive 2 a text saying, "Take her down."
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According to authorities, the team of eBay employees sent the couple behind the newsletter a series of "anonymous and disturbing" packages to their home in Massachusetts, including a preserved pig fetus, pornography, live cockroaches, and a book on "surviving the loss of a spouse." Court documents say the eBay employees also sent the couple a slew of harassing Twitter messages, and spammed their e-mail inboxes with sign-ups to bogus newsletters, including those with the subject lines: "the Communist Party"; "the Satanic Temple"; and "Cat Faeries."

The six former eBay employees, who were on the global intelligence and security teams, have each been charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. Each person could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each charge, authorities said.

Neither Wymer nor Wenig are still with eBay. Wymer only served as eBay's PR chief for about nine months in 2019. Wenig announced he was stepping down from the CEO position in September 2019, and cited conflict with eBay's board of directors.
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In a statement published to its website Monday, eBay said it became aware of the law enforcement investigation in August 2019 and cooperated fully. EBay says it conducted its own internal investigation, which found "no evidence" that Wenig played a role in the matter.

"The internal investigation found that, while Mr. Wenig's communications were inappropriate, there was no evidence that he knew in advance about or authorized the actions that were later directed toward the blogger and her husband," the company's statement reads. "However, as the Company previously announced, there were a number of considerations leading to his departure from the Company." Additionally, eBay said it terminated all six of the indicted employees in September 2019.
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"EBay does not tolerate this kind of behavior. eBay apologizes to the affected individuals and is sorry that they were subjected to this," eBay's investigation team said in a statement. "eBay holds its employees to high standards of conduct and ethics and will continue to take appropriate action to ensure these standards are followed."

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