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Jeff Skoll

16 January 1965, Montreal, Canada;

Jeff Skoll(4) ca. 2000

Jeff Skoll 2004

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Jeff Skoll was eBay's first employee and first president, hired by its founder Pierre Omidyar.

eBay is historically spoken "tho pioneer of the person-to-person online auction"



Born in Montreal he moved to Toronto with his family when he was 13. During his undergraduate years he co-edited engineering's satirical student newspaper, The Toike Oike; then he founded two companies in Toronto: Skoll Engineering, a computer consulting firm, and Micros on the Move Ltd., a computer rental operation. Despite these forays he felt he needed to improve his business skills, and completed a MBA on Toronto University(4)

He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

eBay's roots date back to 1995 when (co-)founder Pierre Omidyar and his fiancée were talking about the difficulty she was having trying to contact other people who collect Pez candy dispensers. Omidyar realized the Internet would be the perfect vehicle to create a trading community, but on-line auctions were still more a concept than a business when Skoll and Omidyar quit their jobs a year later to work on the project full-time. (4)

Jeff Skoll is eBay's first full-time employee and first President, creating the business plan that the company still follows. At the time of this writing he is still active as an advisor to eBay and to the eBay Foundation.

In 1998 he inspired the company to take an active role in philanthropy, pioneering creation of the eBay Foundation through the allocation of pre-IPO shares. This innovation sparked similar initiatives by other young companies in high technology hubs across the United States.

In 1999 Jeff creates the Skoll Foundation, which takes an entrepreneurial approach to philanthropy, seeking out and empowering the world's most promising social entrepreneurs in order to effect lasting, positive social change worldwide. He serves as Chairman of the Skoll Foundation and continues to build the foundation, which tripled in size in the 4 years since the Foundations founding.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of Keen.com, a private company that has created a marketplace for individuals to exchange information. Jeff Skoll is also a member of the Advisory Boards of Stanford Business School and the Community Foundation Silicon Valley, a charitable organization based in San Jose. He frequently speaks on the importance of philanthropy.


1965 Born in Montreal, Canada

1987 BS in electrical engineering University of Toronto, Canada

1995 MBA at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.

1996 Leaves a stable job with Knight-Ridder Informations and joins eBay, not co-founding it(5)

1999 Creates the Skoll Foundation


Honors and Awards

Canada's Leafy Award for his contributions to high technology;

Visionary Award from the Software Development Forum;

Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Silicon Valley chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals;
Business Week recognized Jeff Skoll as one of the most innovative philanthropists of the past decade;

Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals;
Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from his alma mater, the University of Toronto;
Business Week recognized Jeff Skoll again as one of the most innovative philanthropists of the past decade;

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