The Top 4 eBay Shareholders

EBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) runs one of the largest and most successful e-commerce platforms that connects buyers and sellers across the world. The company's site allows sellers to operate online stores and sell items directly to buyers.

The company, which was founded in 1995, has also developed and acquired several online marketplaces including StubHub and Classifieds. As of market close on October 22, 2019, the company has a market cap of $33 billion. EBay's growth has made several of its largest shareholders, including its founder, very wealthy.

According to the company, for the full year 2018, eBay delivered revenue of $10.7 billion, growing 8% year over year.

Key Takeaways

  • eBay has grown to become a household name in online shopping and auctions, generating nearly $11 billion in revenue in 2018.
  • The company was founded by French-born Pierre Omidyar in 1995. He is now the largest insider shareholder with more than 45 million shares held.
  • 90% of the company shares, however, are held by mutual funds and other institutional shareholders.

Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar founded eBay in 1995 and is company's largest shareholder with 45,398,858 shares worth $1.8 billion according to a filing with the SEC in 2019. Omidyar started the company, which he originally called AuctionWeb, from his home on Labor Day weekend when he began writing code for an idea to bring buyers and sellers together in an open marketplace. He hired his first employee in June 1996 to help manage the company's explosive growth, and he renamed the company eBay in September 1997.

Omidyar founded a philanthropic venture named the Omidyar Network in 2004. As part of this organization's efforts, he gave $100 million to Tufts University, from which he earned a bachelor of science in computer science. He serves as an advisor to Neoteny Co. Ltd. and as commissioner of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. He continues to serve as a member of the board of directors of eBay.

John Donahoe

John Donahoe is the second-largest eBay shareholder with 823,896 shares according to his most recent filing with the SEC back on July 17, 2015. Donahoe was the chief executive officer (CEO) and president of the company from March 31, 2008, to July 17, 2015. He joined eBay in 2005 as president of eBay Marketplaces. In this role, he managed all of the company's e-commerce platforms. After the company acquired PayPal, Donahoe became PayPal's interim president from January to April 2012. Prior to joining eBay, Donahoe served as the CEO and worldwide managing director of Bain & Company.

Donahoe has served on several boards of companies and not-for-profit organizations. He is currently President and CEO at ServiceNow. He is also chair of PayPal (PYPL). Donahoe graduated with a bachelor of arts in economics from Dartmouth College and received an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Devin Wenig

Devin Wenig is eBay’s President, CEO, and third-largest shareholder with 728,738 of the company as of October 15, 2018. Wenig is the third CEO in Ebay's history. Wenig became CEO in July 2015, after overseeing eBay's Marketplaces business as President for close to four years. While Wenig has been CEO, eBay has grown annual Gross Merchandise Volume from $60.3 billion in 2011 to $88.4 billion in 2017. During this timeframe, eBay grew its user base by 71 million active customers to a total of 170 million.

Wenig received his bachelor of arts from Union College and his Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law.

Michael Jacobson

Michael Jacobson is the fourth-largest eBay shareholder with 518,559 shares as of July 15, 2017. Jacobson was the general counsel and secretary of eBay Inc. from August 1998 to July 2015 and the senior vice president of legal affairs until July 2015. Jacobson helped shape the company's content, contracts and law enforcement policies as well as its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compliance during his tenure with eBay. Prior to joining eBay, Jacobson was a partner with the law firm of Cooley Godward LLP, where he specialized in securities law and mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

Jacobson has served as a director of GSI Commerce Inc. and eBay Enterprise Inc. since June 2011. He holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Harvard College and a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School.

Institutional Shareholders

While company insiders may hold a lot of eBay shares, most are held by institutional investors. The following are the largest such shareholders as of October 22, 2019:

  1. Benchmark Capital Management Co. LLC 69,502,032 (8.29%)
  2. The Vanguard Group, Inc. 61,888,201 (7.38%)
  3. Icahn Associates Holding LLC 46,271,370 (5.52%)
  4. SSgA Funds Management, Inc. 37,481,148 (4.47%)
  5. The Baupost Group LLC 24,146,000 (2.88%)
Article Sources
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  1. eBay. "eBay Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results and Announces Capital Structure Evolution."

  2. Securities Exchange Commission. "eBay Inc."

  3. eBay. "Our History."

  4. eBay. "Pierre Omidyar interview in Financial Times."

  5. Securities and Exchange Commission. "ServiceNow, Inc."

  6. Bain & Company. "John Donahoe: Dump the Myth of the High Achiever."

  7. ServiceNow. "ServiceNow Names John Donahoe President and CEO. "

  8. Union College. "Devin Wenig: A Conversation with Union Alumni Leading Fortune 500 Companies."

  9. Cooley. "Mike Jacobson Of Counsel."

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