20 Facts You Should Know About Pierre Omidyar (eBay Founder)
Pierre Omidyar, the chairperson and founder of the online auction site, Ebay, has made an indelible mark in the world of internet technology and commerce.
Compared to other internet gurus, Omidyar might be low-key.
Still, here are some interesting facts about this self-made businessperson and philanthropist.
1. Pierre Omidyar developed his first ecommerce website, Auction Web when he was 28 years in 1995.
Omidyar opted to rename his site Ebay because his first option Echo Bay was taken already.
2. Omidyar hosted his new auction site on a personal site he had created to distribute information about the Ebola virus.
3. While it is true that Omidyar’s wife is a Pez candy dispenser collector, he dismisses the idea that he created Auction Web to assist his wife with her Pez collection hobby.
4. Pierre sold a non-functional laser pointer as his first item on his new auction site.
He made a profit of $14.83 from this first sale.
This spurred him to market the site more, which rapidly attracted as many as a million sellers and traders in just two years.
5. Omidyar developed his first computer software when he was 14 years to facilitate cataloging for his school library.
6. Even though he did not set out to become an internet superstar, Pierre became a billionaire aged 31 years, just 3 years after launching his online auction platform.
He took EBay public in 1998 and said that he became ridiculously rich overnight.
7. In 2012, Forbes estimated that Pierre Omidyar was worth $ 8.2 billion.
This is in spite the fact that he has given away more than $1billion in charity in his lifetime.
Year after year, his net worth has increased by $500 million.
8. Thanks to the massive success registered by Ebay, Pierre is the 42th richest person in the U.S.
He is the second richest U.S. citizen of Iranian descent and the fifth richest person of French heritage living in the U.S.
9. Omidyar is not just involved in ecommerce; he set up Civil Beat, an online news site in Honolulu covering local news.
10. This versatile investor also owns some shares in the popular Montage Resort & Spa in California’s Laguna Beach.
11. The Omidyar Network is one of the largest philanthropic organizations investing in technology to improve the social, political, and economic status of people across the globe.
12. In 1998, EBay made up to 10,000 phone calls to the most active sellers on the site apologizing for a 22-hour interruption of services.
This move saved Ebay from the imminent collapse that many internet companies experienced at the start on the millennium.
13. Omidyar’s Ebay set precedence for future ecommerce platforms including ecommerce giants such as Amazon.
14. In 2005, EBay allowed users to buy and sell industrial equipment.
Today, a good number of large industrial companies use the buying and selling trends on Ebay to set prices for their industrial merchandise.
15. Under Pierre’s leadership, Ebay is the largest and most popular ecommerce site globally with a piece of jewelry selling in Ebay India every six minutes, a mobile phone selling every minute in the UK and a toy selling every 24 seconds in Australia.
16. In 2005, Pierre and his wife Pam gave a $100 million gift to their Alma Mater, Tuft University.
This was the biggest gift Tuft University had received.
It was also the largest gift offered for a microfinance venture by an individual, at that time.
17. As a committed philanthropist, Omidyar has pledged to donate at least half his wealth to charity.
18. Over the next 20 years, Pierre and his wife Pam are looking to donate everything but one percent of their wealth.
19. Pierre’s wife, an avid Pez collector, has over 400 Pez dispensers.
20. Pierre Omidyar serves as a commissioner in President Obama’s Commission on White House Fellows.