intro’d to Pierre here.
[well – first intro’d a while back – by the (fabricated – see below) story of him starting ebay because his fiancee wanted to trade pez dispensers..]
Be you. Be cool
Pierre Morad Omidyar (Persian: پیر مراد امیدیار, born June 21, 1967) is a French-born Iranian American entrepreneur and philanthropist, who is the founder and chairman of the eBay auction site. He became a billionaire at the age of 31 with eBay’s 1998 IPO. Omidyar and his wife Pamela are well-known philanthropists who founded Omidyar Network in 2004 in order to expand their efforts beyond non-profits to include for-profits and public policy. Since 2010 Omidyar has been invoved in online journalism by heading investigative reporting and public affairs news service Honolulu Civil Beat.
It was hosted on a site Omidyar had created for information on the ebola virus. The first item sold on the site was not a Pez dispenser, but a broken laser pointer. Omidyar was astonished that anyone would pay for the device in its broken state, but the buyer assured him he was deliberately collecting broken laser pointers. Similar surprises followed.
The frequently repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar’s fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager in 1997 to interest the media. This was revealed in Adam Cohen’s 2002 book and confirmed by eBay. .
Jeff Skoll joined the company in 1996. In September 1998, eBay launched a successful public offering, making both Omidyar and Skoll billionaires. As of July 2008, Omidyar’s 178 million eBay shares were worth around $4.45 billion.
On September 4, 2013, Honolulu Civil Beat started a partnership with The Huffington Post launching the weblog’s latest regional addition HuffPost Hawaii.
After creating the world of eBay, a place where people could easily share passions and build businesses, Pierre Omidyar realized he had to take that platform out into the real world, to empower those in need. In the last decade, Omidyar and his wife have committed $1 billion to just that, and have earned a Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Award for their efforts.
Every two years, the Carnegie Medal award honors magnanimous individuals and families who, like Andrew Carnegie, use their private wealth to make a lasting impact on a field, nation, or international community. Omidyar and his wife, Pamela — one of 11 recipients — have used their success to help tackle human trafficking and health issues as well as embolden entrepreneurs.
“I created [eBay] with the belief that people are good. If you give people the opportunity to do the right thing, you’ll rarely be disappointed,” Omidyar told The Huffington Post. “After eBay became so financially successful, I really felt a sense of responsibility to put that to good use.”
Pierre and Pamela — both 44 years old — have already established three nonprofits and said that they are just getting warmed up in the area of giving back.
Everyone is born equally capable, but lacks equal opportunity,
Pierre said of his inspiration to launch the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm that gives disadvantaged people the tools they need to achieve financial success.
This organization is unique in that it makes investments in for-profit companies and grants for nonprofit organizations.