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Growth was phenomenal; in January 1997 the site hosted 2,000,000 auctions, compared with 250,000 during the whole of 1996.
The company officially changed the name of its service from Auction Web to e Bay in September 1997.
Astonished, Omidyar contacted the winning bidder to ask if he understood that the laser pointer was broken.
In his responding email, the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers." The frequently repeated story that e Bay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager, Mary Lou Song, in 1997 to interest the media, which were not interested in the company's previous explanation about wanting to create a "perfect market".
One of the first items sold on Auction Web was a broken laser pointer for .83.e Bay has already expanded to over two dozen countries, including China and India.Strategic international expansion has failed in Taiwan and Japan, where Yahoo!After nearly ten years at e Bay, Whitman decided to enter politics.On January 23, 2008, the company announced that Whitman would step down on March 31, 2008, and John Donahoe was selected to become President and CEO.