20 Fascinating Stories & Facts About John Donahoe, CEO Of eBay, Inc.

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1) John Donahoe (°1960), President & CEO Of eBay, Inc

John Donahoe Bio Photo 1 - People With ImpactJohn Donahoe (born in 1960) is President and CEO of eBay, Inc, a leader in online commerce & payments. He took over as CEO in 2008, after Meg Whitman resigned from her 10-year post as CEO of eBay, Inc. Before his CEO post, Donahoe was President of Marketplaces at eBay, and during this time he successfully doubled revenues and profits (photo courtesy: eBay, Inc).

2) John Donahoe Attended Dartmouth College & Stanford

John Donahoe has a BA degree with high distinction in Economics from Dartmouth College. He has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (photo: campus of Stanford University).

John Donahoe Photo 2 - Stanford MBA - People With Impact

3) Constant Innovation & Testing At eBay, For Example: ‘eBay Now’

One of eBay’s newest ideas for creative business is same day delivery, called eBay Now. CEO John Donahoe says that it can provide same day delivery at a large scale, but will need to work with other companies that are looking for the same thing (photo courtesy: eBay Mobile apps).

4) Supporting Political Candidates

Donahoe likes to contribute to political candidates he believes in. He previously was helping Republican candidates. Recently he has become interested in the Democratic movement, and has been contributing to Democratic candidates such as Kirsten Gillibrand and Barbara Boxer.

John Donahoe Photo 4 - Democrats Republicans - People With Impact

5) eBay’s Turnaround: ‘eBay Mobile’ & More

The new eBay apps for your mobile phone make selling and buying on eBay that much easier. John Donahoe is proud of how quickly the eBay website and the eBay economy as a whole has gone mobile, and says this will help the customer take charge. As such, the (r)evolution of eBay Mobile has contributed largely to eBay’s turnaround (photo courtesy: eBay Mobile).

John Donahoe Photo 20 - eBay Mobile steve yankovich - People With Impact

Video: Interview In 2008



6) Expanding & Building New eBay Offices, Also Near Amazon

Interestingly, eBay has begun to build another office just in the backyard of its competitor, Amazon’s office in Bellevue, Washington. The rapidly expanding company will need more room, and the new office is said to be almost double the size of the company’s existing office.

John Donahoe Photo 14 - Washington - People With Impact

7) A Natural Born Leader?

As a young man, Donahoe did not foresee his success that was to come in the later years. All he knew was the he had a passion to be a leader, and always felt more at home in leadership positions. He was a leader in his fraternity, and also captain of his college basketball team. It can be said that leadership comes naturally to the CEO of eBay. Marc Andreessen, who sits on the board of eBay, Inc was quoted in an article by Fortune about John Donahoe, saying: “If Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg are the templates for the founder CEO, then I think John has become the template for the professional CEO.”

John Donahoe Photo 5 - Leadership Leader - People With Impact

8) The Important Life Lessons Of His Father

John Donahoe says that his father played a large influential role in his life. As many children, he did not realize this at the time, but now, as an adult, he remembers things his father taught him and they are what have helped him succeed. He says that one of the things he will never forget and he has instilled in his own behavior is ‘equality’, which his father showed everyone.

John Donahoe Photo 7 - Equality - People With Impact

9) Lesson From Professor Hennessey: Remove The Word “I”

Another individual that John Donahoe says changed his outlook on life was a professor he met at Dartmouth College. Professor John W. Hennessey Jr. taught business and ethics at Dartmouth (the Tuck School of Business). He gave John Donahoe some important pieces of advice, which he remembers to this day. Hennessey taught Donahoe to remove the word “I” from his mindset, and to use self-reflection as a way to keep his mind and heart clear (photo courtesy: Jhennessey.org).

John Donahoe Photo 8 - Professor Hennessey Dartmouth - People With Impact

10) His Mentor At Bain: Thomas Tierney, ‘The Feedback Loop’

John Donahoe’s boss at his previous company, Bain & Company, Thomas Tierney, was also a great mentor to him. He helped Donahoe through any issues, both personal and professional. After John Donahoe presented at meetings, John says that his boss would not only have something positive to say, but would tell him what he could have done better for next time. This helped push John Donahoe to keep trying to do better (photo courtesy: Bain).

John Donahoe Photo 9 - Thomas Tierney - People With Impact

11) Reaching Professional Success, While Making His Family Always Come First

When he had just started at Bain & Company, his wife Eileen had completed law school and had received an offer to clerk for a federal judge. John Donahoe did not think twice, knowing this was an opportunity his wife could not miss. Therefore, he spoke to his boss, saying that things would not work out, and he had to quit. His boss worked things out with him, and Donahoe was able to take his kids to school. Years later, John realized he wanted to spend more time with his children and wanted to quit again. His boss at bain told him to take a sabbatical instead, and two years later … Donahoe became CEO of Bain & Company.


12) Pushing Career Opportunities For Women At eBay

John Donahoe urges working women to push for flexibility in their jobs. He says that he has experience with such issues first hand. Of eBay’s +/- 900 Directors, 24% of them are women. eBay itself is a strong advocate for working women, as their previous CEO was a woman (Meg Whitman). Donahoe is making changes to eBay to help women advance in their professions.

John Donahoe Photo 10 - Women - People WIth Impact

13) John & Eileen Donahoe, Married With 4 Children

John Donahoe and his wife Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe are an ideal working couple. They have been successfully married for 28 years. With 4 children, they have been able to work around issues and make compromises, and are now both successful in their careers. Eileen is US ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, Switzerland, the lead UN body responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights.

John Donahoe Photo 16 - eBay Switzerland Geneva Bern - People With Impact

14) Playing Basketball Or Other Sport With His Children

John Donahoe loves his four children, now between the ages of 16 and 26. Any time that he has free from work, he tries to spend it with his children. He will spend time with his children as they play sports (basketball, football, …) and help coach them as well. Due to the little time he has with his children, he savors every minute he has with them.

John Donahoe Photo 17 - Basketball - People With Impact

15) John Donahoe’s Favorite Sports & Hobbies

John Donahoe enjoys watching basketball, and playing golf from time to time. He likes to relax with a good book, and one of his favorites is Narcissus and Goldmund, by Hermann Hesse. His favorite film is “The Mission”, and he enjoys vacationing in the Cayman Islands (photo courtesy: Dartmouth College).

John Donahoe Photo 11 - Basketball Dartmouth - People With Impact

16) eBay Today: 70% Fixed Price Items, 30% Online Auctions

Many people think that eBay is a site mainly used to find collectibles and hard to find items. Donahoe says that five years ago, that may have been the case, when eBay was 70% auctions and 30% fixed price. Now, it is 70% fixed price items, and 30% auction. John Donahoe says this change came from the customers themselves, and eBay is just going along (Interview by Charlie Rose).

John Donahoe Photo 19 - 30 70 % Auctions Fixed Price - People With Impact

Video: Interview In 2013


17) Wakes Up Daily Around 5 am, Getting Ready For The Gym At eBay

John Donahoe has a strict routine that he follows by. He wakes up as early as 5 am, and will be seen in the office at 6 am. Before heading to work, he will do a quick workout. He enjoys keeping himself healthy and following a proper routine. He has a busy schedule at work, with meetings that usually last the whole day.

John Donahoe Photo 12 - eBay Gym - People With Impact

18) John Donahoe & Amazon: ‘eBay Is Different’

John Donahoe is very critical of eBay’s main competitor, Amazon. Like any other loyal CEO, John Donahoe does not appreciate having employees of his company using anything from the competitor. At a meeting he had with eBay employees, John Donahoe said that he had been seeing Amazon’s boxes in the mailroom and did not want that to happen again. He stated that employees should be using eBay, Inc products whenever possible.

19) Taking eBay and PayPal To The Offline World

eBay and PayPal, eBay’s payment company, are working with many other companies and retailers nationwide to make shopping easier for consumers. About the pilots happening at Home Depot, John Donahoe told the following story to analysts during a conference call: “I went to the Home Depot in San Jose this morning. I left my own wallet and my cell phone in my car. I walked into the Home Depot, and it was one of the five Home Depot stores where we got a pilot with PayPal payments going. I picked up a hammer and picked up a tape measure which I had right in front of me. I then walked into the checkout lane. Without my wallet, without my mobile phone, on the terminal I pressed ‘pay with PayPal’, I put in my mobile phone number and a PIN, and boom, I was done. The receipt was emailed to my email account, texted to my mobile phone and I walked out. So it was a beautiful experience.”

John Donahoe Photo 13 - PayPal and PayPal Mobile - People With Impact

20) John Donahoe’s View On Failure

John Donahoe is not afraid of failure. He says that you can learn a lot from failure, and sometimes it can be a good thing. He has had his fair share of adversity and criticism, with the public wary of his ability to lead eBay successfully. Donahoe did not let this affect him, and held his head up high and continued on. “Never let failure scare you off.”


John Donahoe Photo 18 - Failure - People With Impact

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