EBay's top exec preparing to retire-report

Meg Whitman, the longtime chief executive of eBay, is preparing to retire after a decade at the helm of the online auctioneer, according to a published report, quoted by the Associated Press.

The Associated Press quoted the Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, as reporting that Whitman has been delegating more daily responsibilities and is working on a plan of succession.

The paper says a decision about her departure could be made within weeks.

A call to eBay seeking comment morning was not immediately returned.

EBay shares fell $0.30 to $28.03 in morning trading after sinking to a 52-week low of $26.02 earlier in the day, the report said.

The Journal reported that John Donahoe, 47, whom Whitman recruited in 2005 to head eBay's auction business unit, has emerged as her most likely successor.

Few executives who helped pioneer the commercialization of the internet have remained on top for as long as the 51-year-old Whitman.

When she joined eBay in 1998, the company employed 30 people and had revenues of $86 million that year.

The company now employs 15,000 people and had $5.97 billion in revenues last year.