Thursday, September 18, 2008

Eric Shoup, of eBay, now VP of Product

Eric Shoup, Former General Manager for eBay Stores, Joins The Generations Network as's Vice President of Product

Management Leader to Play Key Role in Bay Area Growth of


PROVO, Utah, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Generations Network (TGN), parent company of, today announced the hiring of Eric Shoup as vice president of product for the business unit. As a new management leader, Shoup will be responsible for the product strategy, product definition and design for the global platform of, the world's largest online family history resource. He will lead the product management and user interface design teams. Bringing more than 15 years of product marketing and general management experience, he will be based in the company's San Francisco office.

"We're thrilled to have Eric Shoup join during this time of accelerated growth," said Andrew Wait, senior vice president and general manager of family history for "Eric is key to the continued expansion of and to our company's increasing presence in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. His impressive background and strong leadership skills make him the best person to lead this effort while nicely complimenting our team in Utah."

Prior to joining TGN, Shoup was at eBay for five years, where he focused on growing several of eBay's growing businesses, most recently as the general manager for the eBay Stores and ProStores business units. In a previous position, Eric assembled and led eBay's first global mobile product team. During his eBay career, Shoup also played key product leadership roles over different areas such as eBay Stores, Shipping and Merchandising.

Prior to eBay, Shoup drove key product marketing and management initiatives at Commerce One, a leading provider of global e-commerce solutions for businesses. While at US Interactive, Shoup designed and managed consumer ecommerce and marketing Web sites for established companies such as Lexus and Wellcome Supermarkets (Hong Kong).

As a new member of the management team, Shoup will work closely with a strong team of professionals in's new San Francisco office, including Cheyenne Richards, recently promoted to vice president of marketing and a former executive with Avenue A Razorfish, as well as co-workers recently hired from Yahoo, Apple, Organic, CNET, Zenith Optimedia and Expedia.

About the Ancestry Global Network

The Ancestry global network of family history Web sites is wholly owned by The Generations Network, Inc. It consists of nine Web sites -- in the U.S., in the UK, in Canada, in Australia, in Germany, in Italy, in France, in Sweden and in China. Ancestry members have access to 7 billion names contained in 26,000 historical record collections. Tree-building and photo upload are free on all Ancestry websites. To date, users have created more than 7 million family trees containing 675 million profiles and 11 million photographs. Nearly 5.4 million unique visitors logged onto in July 2008 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide).


CONTACT: Sara Black of PainePR, +1-213-996-3812,, for

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  1. Insider,

    You must have missed the part of the bio that says what he knows about genealogy and genealogists, and same for the other whiz-bangs hired from other companies. Also, how is ebay doing these days?

    Education and general marketing experience tends to get treated as a commodity these days which can be applied to any product with the thought that if you "listen" and survey the customers you can quickly learn. Which could be true except that Ancestry is not good at listening and one has to ask the right questions, which might actually take industry/product specific knowledge *in advance*.

    One of my refrains here in your blog this year and in the Ancestry blog, is the fact that by Mr. Sullivan's figures, Ancestry spends 4 to 1 on marketing over data acquisition. Which they justify by saying such data is now a commodity where one cannot gain a competitive advantage. But that is only true for broader datasets like census records. Being the first to acquire other more narrow datasets still carries a competitive advantage because the competitor is now better off just acquiring something else.

    Now of course I speak as a more advanced customer, what I call type #1s. It is clear most of Ancestry's marketing staff doesn't understand our needs and doesn't want to. They would rather sell the newbies on sluggish web maintained trees.

    BTW, I wonder what Ancestry's customer retention rate is, i.e. how many renew their subscriptions?


  2. I've never been able to find anything on Ancestry that I couldn't find for free somewhere else online. Very disappointing. I didn't renew. I'm beginning to think that Footnote is worth the money.

  3. In response to the post by "Anonymous" on 18 Sept 2008 at 2:02 pm:

    >I've never been able to find anything on Ancestry
    >that I couldn't find for free somewhere else online.

    I find that hard to believe because although there are some records on that can be found for free elsewhere (eg: SSDI, some censuses and a few others), most of what I find on I cannot find for free anywhere and I have searched high and low.

    > I'm beginning to think that Footnote is worth the money.

    Money? But you pointed out in your first sentence that free is priority. I find Footnote are way too expensive ($69.95 annual) for the too little information they provide on their site at this time. Maybe in the future when they bring in more databases they might be worth it. At this point I would rather pay the $155.40 US annual membership fee at and get tons and tons of information than pay $69.95 US at Footnote and get very little, if anything. But then either one is cheaper than paying for flights and hotels to get to the actual locations to find the information.


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