In business, as in life, not all partnerships will last forever. But that doesn't have to mean bitter feuds, blocked profiles, and feelings of resentment. Here’s how one celebrity business pairing are managing their break up in the perfect way.
Despite my passionate spreading of the virtues of working in partnership I’ve got some bad news for you.
Some partnerships will not to have a forever and ever ending. Sometimes, the smart thing is not to stick together but to amicably go your separate ways, ideally with friendships formed intact.
Allow me, if I may, to use a high profile celebrity couple as an example of the perfect way to do this. I believe they call it ‘consciously uncoupling’ in celebrity circles.
When eBay met PayPal on 3 October 2002, with a deal valued at $1.5 billion, it was a marriage made in heaven.
At the time, the chemistry was right, eBay was looking for a secure transaction platform for its B2B and B2C customers on its e-commerce website. PayPal was leaving the entrepreneurial hands of Elon Musk and was going public on the IPO looking to make its name in online merchant services.
The internet was in its infancy, and these young dot.com institutions seized the moment and formed a winning partnership that was mutually beneficial. eBay had a trusted payment provider to market its concept and PayPal had control of its whole customer experience. The relationship was a win-win.
However, on 30 September 2014, eBay announced the divestiture of PayPal as an independent company. The partnership ended on 20 July 2015.
I am not sure who initiated the split, possibly one of those jealous hedge-funders stirring things up, but this hasn’t been your classic relationship break-up. (No crying over ice cream and listening to Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’. Or trawling through Facebook remembering times that were. It's been a long time since I had a break up, is that what people do now?)
To their friends, the business world, the separation is amicable. The two companies have stayed steadfast to their values, without resorting to dramatic headlines in the newspapers (or indeed social media. I can't confirm what they say about each other to their close friends though).
More importantly, the partnership split has not inconvenienced the people they look after who could be caught up in the aftermath of a messy break up; the buyers and sellers living in 33 countries who extensively use eBay as a platform for their business. Instead, the pair signed a five-year operating agreement to maintain a close relationship through to mid-2020, possibly 2023.
Call it a new way of being in a business relationship, even if the feeling has gone.
eBay went back to focus on what was best for their customers and chose a newly emerging online merchant partner with lower transaction fees, Adyen, so it now provides its merchants with lower costs and more control over their finances.
PayPal continues to process eBay payments, and it is independently thriving with its online payment brand in what is now an incredibly competitive $100billion market.
Both parties have acted in the best interest of the customers they jointly serve throughout this ── and that is something to be noted, celebrated, and born in mind when we think about our partnerships and collaborations.
(Outro music, queue: Destiny Child’s ‘Survivor’.)
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