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From The Trenches
The Early eCommerce Marketplace Pioneers — The eBay Class of 2000-2005
Where Are They Now and Why Should We Care?
UPDATE: Thanks for your feedback on my eBay blog post/TechCrunch article. I’ve received so many emails from eBay alumni that I have created a Facebook Group called “eBay 2000-2005.” We already have nearly 800 members so please reach out for an invite to any one of the current members. All eBay alumni who worked at eBay Inc. (in any office) during that period are encouraged join this group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/391373577637047/
TechCrunch recently published an article I wrote about how the eBay class of 2000-2005 helped shape ecommerce in the Silicon Valley and continues to innovate and move the sector forward.
By understanding what shaped this class’ experience and examining where these alums are today, we identified the most important industry trends and start to see a clearer picture for the future of ecommerce and the people shaping it.
I’ve put together a more comprehensive list of these executives below. As we look to the future of ecommerce and reflect on the accomplishments of these former eBay leaders, I believe that eBay served as a significant center of learning for ecommerce and is one of the primary reasons why no other region can replicate what has been done in Silicon Valley. Nearly 13 years later, we have an entire group of seasoned executives who are experimenting with a new set of ideas and technology to continue building expertise across the Valley and in other key ecommerce regions like New York (e.g. GILT), Austin (e.g. RetailmeNot) and Boston (e.g. Gemvara).
I’m sure that I have inadvertently left some people of off this list, but even after 15 years of working in ecommerce, including five at eBay, I continue to look back on that period of time with pride and feel honored to work in this exciting era. If I’ve forgotten anyone please reach out to me and let me know! I’d love to hear from you.
- Matt Ackley, ex VP of Advertising and Internet Marketing, and Garrett Price, ex-head of corporate development/M&A, have paired up with other eBayers to run Zerve, a startup creating a platform for experiential local services.
- Sean Aggarwal, former VP of Finance at eBay. Now CFO at Trulia ( public company)
- Brent Bellm, head of PayPal (Europe) and early strategy planning executive at eBay, is now COO of HomeAway, which has since gone public.
- Greg Bettinelli, a leader in category management at eBay and is now a Venture Partner at GRP Partners.
- Lorna Borenstein was CEO of Move and now a stealth-mode entrepreneur and founder & CEO at Grokker.
- Gary Calega, ex-Category Director; ex-VP at Sendme, leader in mobile commerce
- Gary Briggs, a top marketing executive at eBay who also founded Plastic Jungle.
- Jason Brown, Director at eBay UK is now the VP of Marketing and User Insight at Zynga.
- Rob Chesney, ex-eBay Motors executive. Now President at TrunkClub, a leading men’s apparel shopping destination.
- Ro Choy, an eBay alum who is now CRO at BitTorrent, one of the early pioneers and megabrands in file sharing.
- Michael Dearing, ex-Head of US at eBay, raised his own successful fund as Founder of Harrison Metal and has invested in established eCommerce companies such as ModCloth, Lumos Labs, CafePress (public), and Birchbox.
- Geoff Donaker, former director of business development at eBay, is now COO at Yelp.
- Joe Epperson, Finance Director at eBay is now CEO of MaxPoint Interactive.
- Greg Fant, eBay alum is now CMO of One King’s Lane, the preeminent household goods ecommerce company.
- David Feller, Director at eBay, is now the Founder and CEO of Yummly.
- Doug Galen, eBay alum is now CRO of Shopkick, one of the most ambitious and creative companies in the local mobile shopping space.
- Israel Ganot, former Director of Finance & Operations at eBay UK, is now building on this discipline as CEO and co-founder of Gazelle. Gazelle is applying classic marketplace economics to buying, owning, selling, and recycling electronics.
- Jordan Glazier, senior director of eBay Category Management is now CEO of Eventful.
- Lori Goler Matloff, ex-head of direct marketing at eBay, is now head of HR at Facebook.
- Andre Haddad, ex-CEO of Shopping.com at eBay, is now CEO of RelayRides, a pioneer in the collaborative consumption economy.
- Matt Halprin, VP of Global Trust and Safety at eBay is now the VP Revenue and Analytics at Yelp.
- John Herr, former head of eBay US marketplace categories and PayPal merchant services, is now CEO of Adaptive Planning, a thriving SaaS company primed to go public in the coming years (disclosure NVP investor).
- Jeff Housenbold, who led the Internet and search marketing team at eBay, is now president and CEO of Shutterfly (NASDAQ: SFLY). He took that company public a several years ago, and it is now worth 1.5 billion dollars.
- Jamie Iannone, former VP of Product at eBay, leads all digital efforts at Barnes & Noble.
- Greg Isaacs, Director, Developers Program at eBay, is now the VP Digital Media for the NFL.
- Jeff Jordan, eBay senior executive is currently a partner at Andreesen Horowitz, has invested in several great marketplace pioneers including Quirky, Fab, Pinterest and AirBnb. Previously, he was CEO at OpenTable and led them through a successful IPO.
- Alex Kazim, ex-eBay entrepreneur and founder of Kiji, is now an SVP at HP.com.
- Susan Kim, product manager at eBay is now the CEO of Plum District.
- Josh Kopelman and Chris Fralic from Half.com are now successful VC’s at First Round Capital. They have invested in hundreds of web companies including ModCloth, Fab, Hotel Tonight, Birchbox, Mint, One King’s Lane, and Path.
- Dinesh Lathi, director of finance at eBay is now the CFO at One King’s Lane.
- Daniel Leffel, Manager, eBay Business is the Founder and CEO of Yardsellr.
- John Levisay, director of category management at eBay Motors and eBay industrial categories, is now the Founder and CEO of Sympoz.
- Drew Lieberman, ex-eBay Motors. ex-CEO of MotorSports, ecommerce catalog for motor parts.
- Todd Lutwak, head of seller development at eBay, is now a Partner with Jeff Jordan at Andreesen Horowitz.
- Alexis Maybank, one of the early inventors of eBay Motors, went on to start and run GILT, a premier fashion ecommerce site, and one of the pioneers of the NYC ecommerce startup movement.
- Jim Migdal, category manager at eBay was an early business development executive at Facebook.
- Adam Nash- Former eBay product manager, now COO of Wealthfront and was previously the VP of products at LinkedIn (early days).
- Lorri Norrington, CEO of Shopping.com and ex-head of Marketplaces at eBay, is now an active board member and advisor to several flourishing companies, including DIRECTV. She is also a strategic advisor to Gazelle, which is led and was founded by Israel Ganot, a superstar eBayer.
- Gil Penchina, ex head of Internet marketing and business development at eBay, is currently an angel investor.
- Howard Rosenberg, GM of Private Marketplaces at eBay is now the CEO and founder B-Stock Solutions.
- Simon Rothman, credited for starting eBayMotors, was an early investor and board member at Tesla. He is now an executive-in-residence at Greylock.
- Josh Scott, Business & Local/Services at eBay is now the Founder and COO of Craftsy.
- Niren Shah, ex-eBay India and Strategy eBay executive is now a successful investor and my partner at NVP. He leads our Internet, ecommerce and fin-tech efforts for NVP out of Mumbai.
- Ryan Spoon, Manager of Internet marketing at eBay, is now Senior Vice President of Product Development at ESPN.
- Dana Stalder, eBay alum and now partner at Matrix- recently sold Zong to PayPal.
- Stephanie Tilenius, who oversaw a variety of departments at eBay and Paypal, is now an EIR at KP.
- Laurence Toney, Category manager at eBay. ex-GM at Zynga and ex-VP at Art.com
- Chris Tsakalakis, eBay alum who became the president of StubHub, the world’s largest fan-to-fan ticket marketplace.
Again, I am sure I’ve forgotten a lot of great people. Please email me to reconnect.
Adaptive Planning eBay ecommerce investments entrepreneurs Gemvara Gilt Groupe John Herr Lending Club ModCloth RetailMeNot Sergio Monsalve TechCrunch venture capital