eBay CEO Calls Amazon Drones ‘Fantasy’
eBay CEO John Donahoe doesn’t expect to see Amazon drones flying through the air any time soon. In fact, he went so far as to call Amazon’s drone plans “long-term fantasies” in an interview with Emily Chang of Bloomberg.
Many were skeptical after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the online retailer’s plan last week to offer delivery by unmanned aerial drone within 30 minutes of placing an order. The Amazon website estimates the program will begin in 2015, depending on regulations set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Some naysayers said the announcement was a publicity stunt ahead of Thanksgiving weekend shopping, and others think the plan is just too ambitious. But no opinion has quite as much weight as that of the Donahoe, the CEO of one of Amazon’s biggest competitors.
When Chang asked in the Bloomberg interview if eBay was planning anything like Amazon’s drones, Donahoe said, “We’re not really focusing on long-term fantasies. We’re focusing on things that will change consumers’ experience today.”
Chang followed up by asking about the plan for drones, “So you think it’s a long-term fantasy?”
Donahoe replied, “We’ll see.”
He was also sure to mention in the interview that eBay already offers immediate delivery for some customers. The program called eBay Now offers to deliver items from local stores in about an hour for just a $5 charge. The program is only available in five major cities around the country – like New York City and San Francisco – but eBay Now has plans to expand to include 25 cities.