Do you know who owns eBay? The popular e-commerce company was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar, a French-American entrepreneur.

However, since then, eBay has gone through several changes in ownership and management.

In 2002, eBay acquired PayPal, an online payment company, which became a significant part of eBay’s business model.

In 2015, eBay spun off PayPal into a separate publicly traded company. Today, eBay is a publicly traded company, and its ownership is spread across a diverse group of shareholders.

History Of eBay

When you think of online marketplaces, eBay is likely one of the first names that comes to mind.


The company was founded in 1995 and has since become a household name, connecting buyers and sellers from all over the world.

Here’s a brief look at the history of eBay.

Founding Of eBay

eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar, a computer programmer who created the site as a hobby.

The first item ever sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer, which was purchased by a Canadian man named Mark Fraser for $14.83.

Omidyar originally called the site AuctionWeb, but changed the name to eBay in 1997.

The name eBay was chosen because it was short, easy to remember, and sounded like “echo bay,” which was the name of Omidyar’s consulting firm at the time.

Early Years

In the early years, eBay was a small operation run out of Omidyar’s apartment.

The site was originally designed to allow collectors to buy and sell rare items, but it quickly expanded to include all types of goods.

By 1997, eBay had 2 million registered users, and in 1998 the company went public, raising $63 million in its initial public offering.

Growth And Expansion

Throughout the 2000s, eBay continued to grow and expand. The company acquired PayPal in 2002, which became its primary payment processing system.

eBay also expanded internationally, launching sites in Australia, Canada, and Europe. In 2005, eBay acquired Skype, a popular video chat service, for $2.6 billion, but later sold it in 2009.

Today, eBay is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, with over 185 million active buyers and 1.4 billion listings.

The company has expanded beyond its original auction-style format to include fixed-price listings and even a daily deals section.

While eBay has faced competition from other online marketplaces like Amazon, it remains a popular destination for buyers and sellers alike.

eBay Ownership Changes

Over the years, eBay has undergone several changes in ownership, each with its own impact on the company’s direction and growth.

eBay Ownership Changes

In this section, we will take a closer look at the various eras of eBay’s ownership.

eBay Goes Public

In 1998, eBay went public, with its initial public offering (IPO) raising $63 million.

This move allowed eBay to expand its operations and grow its user base, as well as give investors the opportunity to own a piece of the company.

As a publicly traded company, eBay was subject to greater scrutiny from regulators and investors, but also had access to more capital to fund its growth.

Meg Whitman Era

From 1998 to 2008, Meg Whitman served as eBay’s CEO and oversaw the company’s rapid expansion into new markets and acquisition of other companies, such as PayPal.

During her tenure, eBay’s revenue grew from $4.7 million to $8 billion, and the company became a household name.

Whitman’s leadership helped establish eBay as a dominant player in the e-commerce industry.

John Donahoe Era

In 2008, John Donahoe took over as eBay’s CEO, succeeding Meg Whitman.

Donahoe’s tenure was marked by a shift in focus from eBay’s traditional auction-style marketplace to a more retail-oriented platform.

This included the acquisition of GSI Commerce, which provided eBay with a suite of e-commerce services for larger retailers.

Under Donahoe’s leadership, eBay’s revenue continued to grow, reaching $17.9 billion by 2014.

eBay Today

Today, eBay is owned by its shareholders, with no single individual or entity holding a controlling stake in the company.

As of 2023, the largest shareholders of eBay are asset managers Vanguard and BlackRock, each owning over 8% of the company.

eBay continues to evolve and adapt to changes in the e-commerce industry, with a focus on providing a seamless shopping experience for its users.

In conclusion, eBay has undergone several ownership changes throughout its history, with each era shaping the company in different ways.

From its initial public offering to its current status as a publicly traded company owned by shareholders, eBay has remained a major player in the e-commerce industry.

Major Shareholders

Who Owns eBay

If you’re curious about who owns eBay in 2023, this section will give you a brief overview of the current ownership structure of the company.

Major Shareholders

As of May 2023, eBay is primarily owned by asset management firms. The largest shareholders are Vanguard and BlackRock, which own 11.3% and 8.5% of the company, respectively.

These firms are known for their passive investment strategies, which involve holding onto stocks for the long term rather than actively trading them.

Pierre Omidyar, eBay’s founder, is still a major shareholder, with around 5% of the company’s shares.

However, he has shifted his focus to impact investing and philanthropy through his Omidyar Network, which has invested over $1.5 billion in nonprofits and social enterprises that aim to address global problems.

Board Of Directors

eBay’s board of directors is responsible for overseeing the company’s management and making strategic decisions. As of 2023, the board consists of ten members, including:

  • Jamie Iannone (CEO)
  • Thomas Tierney (Chairman)
  • Diana Farrell
  • Jesse Cohn
  • Logan Green
  • Perry Traquina
  • Adriane Brown
  • Bob Swan
  • Andrew Anagnost
  • Bonnie Hammer

These individuals bring a diverse set of skills and experiences to the table, with backgrounds in technology, finance, and media, among other fields.

The board meets regularly to discuss eBay’s performance, set goals for the company, and ensure that it is operating in the best interests of its shareholders.

Overall, eBay’s ownership and leadership structure are designed to ensure that the company remains competitive and profitable in the ever-changing world of e-commerce.

While the specific individuals and firms that own shares in the company may change over time, eBay’s commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction remains constant.

Key Takeaways

If you’re curious about who owns eBay, here are some key takeaways:

  • eBay was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar, an Iranian-American software engineer.
  • Initially known as AuctionWeb, Omidyar created the platform as a hobby project where people could buy and sell items online.
  • Today, eBay is a global online auction and trading company generating nearly $11 billion in revenue in 2018.
  • As of Jan. 8, 2023, eBay has a market capitalization of just over $24.6 billion.
  • eBay is primarily a platform business model, or two-sided marketplace, measuring its growth based on the volume of successful transactions closed on its marketplaces.
  • eBay makes money primarily through transaction fees on its core platform.

The top four eBay shareholders are The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, Inc., State Street Corporation, and SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

Overall, eBay has become a household name in online shopping and auctions, connecting buyers and sellers from all over the world.

While Pierre Omidyar may have founded the company, it’s now owned by a diverse group of shareholders who continue to support its growth and success.