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Pierre Omidyar - ebay (Billionaire)

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Pierre Omidyar - ebay (Billionaire)

Post by selfmadevip on Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:58 am

Pierre Omidyar - ebay (Billionaire)

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Age: 38
Fortune: self made
Source: Ebay
Net Worth: 10.1b
Country Of Citizenship: United States
Residence: Henderson, Nevada, United States, North America
Industry: Technology
Marital Status: married, 2 children
Tufts University, Bachelor of Arts / Science

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Pierre Omidyar was born in Paris, France. He moved to Maryland with his family when his physician father began his residency at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center. Pierre became fascinated with computers while still in high school and graduated from Tufts University in 1988 with a degree in Computer Science.

After graduation he worked for Claris, a subsidiary of Apple Computer, developing software for the Macintosh. In 1991, he co-founded Ink Development Corp. with three friends. The company included an Internet shopping segment and was later renamed eShop Inc. Omidyar worked as a software engineer for eShop until the end of 1994, when he became a developer services engineer for General Magic, a mobile communication platform company. In 1996, eShop was sold to Microsoft, but Omidyar remained fascinated by the technical challenges of online commerce.

While living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, he met and became engaged to Pamela Wesley, a graduate student in biology who later embarked on a career as a management consultant. One night at dinner she mentioned an old hobby, collecting and trading Pez candy dispensers. The candy has been packaged for many years in a wide variety of colorful plastic dispensers, many of them modeled on classic cartoon characters. Although these nostalgic novelty items were collected and traded by a large community of enthusiasts across the United States, there was no facility for trading them in the Bay Area.

Omidyar was intrigued by the technical problem of establishing an online venue for direct person-to-person auction of collectible items. He created a simple prototype on his personal web page, and launched an online service called Auction Web as a sole proprietorship on Labor Day weekend in 1995. The business exploded as correspondents began to register trade goods of an unimaginable variety.

Omidyar incorporated the enterprise; the small fee he collected on each sale financed the expansion of the site. The revenue soon outstripped his salary at General Magic and Omidyar decided to dedicate his full attention to his new enterprise. Business expanded through word of mouth, and Auction Web added a Feedback Forum, allowing buyers and sellers to rate each other for honesty and reliability.

Omidyar changed the company's name to eBay in 1997 and began to advertise the service aggressively. By the middle of that year, eBay was hosting nearly 800,000 auctions a day. By the time eBay went public in 1998, the site had more than a million registered users. By the end of the year, the value of Omidyar's personal stake in the company was nearly $3 billion. Pierre Omidyar has served as Chairman of the Board since its incorporation. At first he also served as Chief Financial Officer, President and CEO, but he relinquished these positions one by one, the last when he hired former Hasbro executive Margaret Whitman to serve as CEO in 1998.
The rapid expansion of eBay's traffic did not come without growing pains. In 1999 the company suffered a number of service interruptions, one lasting 22 hours, but Omidyar moved quickly to regain the confidence of the site's customer base. The company made 10,000 phone calls to the site's top users to apologize for the interruption and assure them that everything possible would be done to keep the site up and running in the future. As other online ventures came and went, eBay has continued to grow and prosper.

In 2003, eBay enjoyed sales of over $2 billion. As of this writing, eBay has more than 95 million registered users, selling more than 45,000 categories of merchandise. Through strategic acquisitions involving some buying and selling of its own, eBay is expanding in Europe and Asia, with particular emphasis on the world's two largest potential markets, China and India. Pierre and Pamela were married, and as the company continues to grow, they devote more of their resources to wide-ranging philanthropy.

Pierre Omidyar serves on the Board of Trustees of Tufts University, The Santa Fe Institute and The Omidyar Foundation. Pierre and Pamela Omidyar have resolved to give away all but one percent of their fortune over the next 20 years. In November 2005, the Omidyars announced their gift of $100 million to endow the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund. As of this writing, this is the largest gift in the history of Tufts University, as well as the largest private allocation of capital to microfinance by any individual or family. The fund, to be administered by the Board of Trustees of Tufts University, will invest in international microfinance initiatives designed to empower people in developing countries to lift themselves out of poverty.
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Re: Pierre Omidyar - ebay (Billionaire)

Post by spage on Fri May 09, 2008 9:22 am

Very interesting. Thanx very much! :D
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