eBay, Inc. history, profile and history video
eBay, Inc. provides online market places for the sale of goods and services as well as other online commerce or ecommerce, platforms and online payment solutions to a diverse community of individuals and businesses. The company operates its business through three segments: Marketplaces, Payments and GSI. The Marketplaces segment includes the company’s core ecommerce platform eBay.com; vertical shopping sites such as StubHub, Fashion, Motors and Half.com; classifieds websites such as Marktplaats.nl and mobile.de, and advertising services. The Payments segment provides efficient payment and settlement capabilities for consumers and merchants on and off eBay websites and other merchant websites. The GSI segment provides ecommerce and interactive marketing services to enterprise clients that include some of the premier brands and retailers. It also offers a broad suite of solutions designed to power merchant’s online businesses and effectively integrate with their other sales channels. The company was founded by Pierre M. Omidyar in September 1995 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA.“
AuctionWeb was founded in San Jose, California, on September 3, 1995, by French-bornIranian-American computer programmer Pierre Omidyar (born June 21, 1967) as part of a larger personal site that included, among other things, Omidyar’s own tongue-in-cheek tribute to the Ebola virus.One of the first items sold on AuctionWeb was a broken laser pointer for $14.83. Astonished, Omidyar contacted the winning bidder to ask if he understood that the laser pointer was broken. In his responding email, the buyer explained: “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers.” 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, which were not interested in the company’s previous explanation about wanting to create a “perfect market”. This was revealed in Adam Cohen’s book, The Perfect Store (2002), and confirmed by eBay.
Reportedly, eBay was simply a side hobby for Omidyar until his Internet service provider informed him he would need to upgrade to a business account due to the high volume of traffic to his website. The resulting price increase (from $30/month to $250) forced him to start charging those who used eBay, and was not met with any animosity. In fact it resulted in the hiring of Chris Agarpao as eBay’s first employee to handle the number of cheques coming in for fees.
Jeffrey Skoll was hired as the first president of the company in early 1996. In November 1996, eBay entered into its first third-party licensing deal, with a company called Electronic Travel Auction to use SmartMarket Technology to sell plane tickets and other travel products. Growth was phenomenal; in January 1997 the site hosted 2,000,000 auctions, compared with 250,000 during the whole of 1996. The company officially changed the name of its service from AuctionWeb to eBay in September 1997. Originally, the site belonged to Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar’s consulting firm. Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.com, but found it already taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, eBay.com.
In 1997, the company received $6.7 million in funding from the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital.
Meg Whitman was hired as eBay President and CEO in March 1998. At the time, the company had 30 employees, half a million users and revenues of $4.7 million in the United States. eBay went public on September 21, 1998, and both Omidyar and Skoll became instant billionaires. eBay’s target share price of $18 was all but ignored as the price went to $53.50 on the first day of trading.
As the company expanded product categories beyond collectibles into almost any saleable item, business grew quickly. In February 2002, the company purchased iBazar, a similar European auction web site founded in 1998 and then bought PayPal on October 14, 2002.
By early 2008, the company had expanded worldwide, counted hundreds of millions of registered users, 15,000+ employees and revenues of almost $7.7 billion. After nearly ten years at eBay, Whitman decided to enter politics. On January 23, 2008, the company announced that Whitman would step down on March 31, 2008 and John Donahoe was selected to become President and CEO. Whitman remained on the Board of Directors and continued to advise Donahoe through 2008. In late 2009, eBay completed the sale of Skype for $2.75 billion, but will still own 30% equity in the company.”
*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org
**Video published on YouTube by “CorporateValley“