Wenig has been on the GM board since 2018, though he isn’t well known for his work helping to steer GM’s top executives in the right direction. The 54-year old, who was the CEO of eBay from July 2015 to September 2019, is associated with a legal case that saw the FBI bring charges against numerous eBay employees for engaging in a harassment campaign against a Massachusetts couple. Wenig was not charged in the case.
The FBI announced details of the eBay case this week, revealing that it had charged six eBay employees with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and obstructing an investigation. The accused allegedly engaged in an “aggressive cyberstalking campaign targeting the editor and publisher of an online newsletter,” in the summer of 2019. The victims are said to have angered eBay executives after using their platform to criticize the company, which led the accused to harass the couple in disturbing ways. This included sending them a bloody pig mask and a book entitled ‘Surviving Loss of a Spouse’. Other items sent to the couple included boxes of live cockroaches and spiders and a funeral wreath.
The accused also listed ads for yard sales at the couple’s address without their knowledge and encouraged visitors to enter the house if no one was outside. Other tactics used included sending the couple pizza at 4:30 a.m. and mailing adult magazines to the couple’s neighbors with the husband’s name on them.
The Detroit Free Press says there is no indication in court papers that the reelected GM board member was aware of the plot, which was carried out by members of eBay’s security and global intelligence team, but an angry email sent off by him is believed to have triggered the harassment campaign. Wenig allegedly instructed employees to target the couple, telling the company’s security team to “take (the female victim) down.”
A spokesperson for Wenig acknowledged the articles in the newsletter had irritated him, saying the longtime businessman never thought that a “moment of anger would lead to these series of terrible events that he had nothing to do with.” One of the articles written by the bloggers that angered Wenig and other executives pertained to high-ranking executives salaries, the FBI said.
GM CEO Mary Barra declined to comment on the situation as it does not directly involve the GM board or GM business operations.
“When I look at this, it’s regrettable,” she said. “Since it didn’t involve any GM business, I don’t have any comment on it now. But GM has a long-standing record of opposing harassment of any form.”
eBay has since fired all six employees accused in the harassment plot. The FBI says the investigation remains ongoing.