eBay Hires Former White House Exec

Howard Schmidt is set to become vice president of security at the online auction giant.

Former White House cyber-security adviser Howard Schmidt is set to become vice president of security at online auction giant eBay later this month, according to company officials in San Jose, Calif.

Schmidt, 53, a former Microsoft security executive, will take the eBay job just weeks after resigning from his government post as head of President Bushs Critical Infrastructure Protection Board.

"We are, of course, happy to have him on board," said eBay spokesman Chris Donlay in confirming Schmidts hiring.

The newly created job at eBay will give Schmidt control of the auctioneers infrastructure at a time of intense federal focus on growing Internet fraud and auction scams. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission launched Operation Bidders Beware, targeting 57 Internet scammers. The action included 17 criminal complaints, federal officials announced.

In an e-mail to colleagues last month, Schmidt said the federal governments move to turn the PCIPB responsibilities over to the newly created Department of Homeland Security led to his decision to resign and return to the private sector, according to sources close to the matter. In February, Schmidt had taken over the duties of PCIPB chairman Richard Clarke, who stepped down under similar circumstances. The two resignations revived questions about the PCIPBs place and utility in the DHS.