30 Unique Facts We Bet You Never Knew About Jeff Skoll


Jeff Skoll, famously known as the first employee and subsequently first president of eBay, has constantly been listed by several magazines as one of the top givers, in recognition for his contributions to various philanthropic causes. Here are some really interesting things to know about the Canadian internet entrepreneur:

  1.  He is the founder, owner, and chairman founder, owner, and chairman of Participant Media, through which he has produced numerous critically acclaimed films.
  2.  Skoll is known for his contributions to philanthropic causes through his Skoll Foundation, which makes grants totaling about $80 million each year.
  3.  He has been constantly listed by Forbes magazine as one of the wealthiest Canadian as well as one of the billionaires in United States, since the year 2014.
  4.  He founded an investment firm, Capricorn Investment Group, and is currently serving as the Chairman of the firm.
  5.  It is reported that it was his business plan that eBay, the American multinational e-commerce corporation, followed from its emergence as a start-up to a larger company.
  6.  He was once the second largest stockholder of eBay, only behind Pierre Omidyar. But he reportedly cashed out a portion of his holdings that yielded him around $2 billion.
  7.  Skoll has been constantly listed as one of the most innovative philanthropists, in the Bloomberg Business Week's list of most innovative philanthropists, since the year 2002.
  8.  He was the commencement speaker and was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto, in the year 2003.
  9.  He is the recipient of The Producers Guild of America Visionary Award, the National Leadership Award for Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley and the Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals.
  10.  He has reportedly given away approximately $1 billion of eBay stock to his eponymous Skoll Foundation, since its formation in the year 1999.
  11.  Till date, his largest charitable donation is reported to be the $30 million contribution to the Alliance for Climate Protection Campaign.
  12.  His foundation - The Skoll Foundation, according to the assets rank, is said to be the largest foundation for social entrepreneurship in the world.
  13.  He has financed The Gandhi Project in partnership with Relief International which created a dubbed version in Arabic of the film "Gandhi."
  14.  Jeffrey Stuart Skoll was born on January 16, 1965, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to a Jewish family. His father owned a chemical company through which he sold industrial chemicals, while his mother was a teacher.
  15.  In the late seventies, his family settled in Toronto, Canada. His father was diagnosed with Cancer, when he was just fourteen years old, due to which his father had the discussion of not having the time to do everything he had planned in life.
  16.  Skoll's first job was pumping gas at a York Mills gas station, through which he was able to afford his college.
  17.  He graduated with a BASc with honors from the University of Toronto's electrical engineering program, in the year 1987. During his time there, he co-edited the engineering students' satirical newspaper The Toike Oike.
  18.  Following his graduation, for several months, he backpacked around the world. He returned to Toronto and founded Skoll Engineering, an information technology consulting firm and Micros on the Move Ltd., a computer rental firm.
  19.  He earned a Masters of Business Administration degree at Stanford Business School, in the year 1995. While at Stanford, he went to work at Knight-Ridder where he was working on internet projects for the publishing company.
  20.  His foundations - The Skoll Foundation and Skoll Global Threats Fund have distributed about $600 million worldwide, aiming to reduce poverty, among other goals.
  21.  He founded millennial-focused cable TV channel Pivot TV in the year 2013 but reportedly shut it down in late 2016.
  22.  He met Pierre Omidyar in the year 1996, and was immediately hired as the company's first president and first full-time employee. Two years later, with the arrival of Meg Whitman, he became the vice president in January 1998.
  23.  It is reported that it was Skoll who championed the creation of the eBay Foundation which was allocated pre-IPO stock now worth $32 million in the year 1998.
  24.  Through his Participant Media company, he had produced more than 75 feature and documentary films that have collectively earned 52 Academy Award nominations and 11 wins.
  25.  In the year 2007, one of his movies "An Inconvenient Truth," earned two Oscars, while the most recent movie "Spotlight" which he executive produced, won the Academy Award for Best Picture on February 28, 2016.
  26.  His company Participant Media is also known to have publishing and television divisions, and also operates, an online site catering to social activists.
  27.  He was the recipient of the Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Silicon Valley chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in the year 2002.
  28.  He married Stephanie Swedlove, a fellow Canadian independent producer, in October 2014. The couple currently resides in Palo Alto, California, United States.
  29.  In the year 2011, Skoll was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for his generous commitment to social causes and for his innovative practice of philanthropy."
  30.  He made a $10 million endowment to launch an eponymous Center for Social Impact Entertainment at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, in the year 2014.
  31.  Jeff Skoll Net Worth: $5.3 Billion

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