Photo: Allison V. Smith
Pierre is an entrepreneur and philanthropist best known as the founder of eBay, an online platform that gives people equal access to information, opportunity, and tools to pursue their goals. Pierre created eBay in 1995 on the premise that people are basically good, and he continues to serve as chairman of the board. Today, eBay enables more than 90 million buyers and sellers to connect and prosper over shared interests.
After eBay became a public company in 1998, Pierre and his wife Pam co-founded
the Omidyar Foundation to support nonprofits. Simultaneously, eBay's vast scale and accelerating social impact were demonstrating that business could also be an effective tool for creating social good. In response, they broadened their scope in 2004 to form a new entity, Omidyar Network, to make investments in for-profit companies as well as nonprofit organizations. By supporting innovative, market-based approaches, Omidyar Network creates opportunity for individuals to connect with others and discover their power to make a difference in the world. Pierre provides Omidyar Network’s strategic vision, stemming from his values and innovative approach to investing for social good.
As an extension of Omidyar Network's activities in microfinance, Pierre and Pam
gave $100 million to Tufts University, their alma mater, to create the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund. Their endowment, the single largest in the history of Tufts, aims to accelerate the growth of the microfinance industry, while generating income to support university programs. Pierre and Pam also provided seed funding to establish the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service for the purpose of educating all members of the Tufts community in the values and skills of active citizenship.
To support local efforts at home, Pierre and Pam committed $50 million to the Hawaii Community Foundation in 2009. The resources are being used to create innovative new programs and support existing philanthropic efforts across the state. To address Hawaii’s need for long-term sustainable solutions in the areas of food, energy, and waste, the Omidyars also created the Ulupono Initiative.
Pierre serves as chairman of eBay, a trustee of Tufts University, Santa Fe Institute and Punahou School; and as a commissioner for President Barack Obama’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Pierre is also CEO and publisher of Honolulu Civil Beat, a local news service in Hawaii that encourages greater civic participation through media. Pierre was born in Paris, France, and moved to the U.S. during grade school. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii with his wife and three children.