KEY POINTS

  • Pierre Omidyar's net worth is $17 billion
  • He has stakes in eBay and Paypal
  • Omidyar founded the Omidyar Network with his wife Pamela

Hawaii’s richest person is none other than Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay and the Omidyar Network. 

Omidyar started eBay in 1995. Back then, it was a simple dream to use the internet to match buyers and sellers online. The idea struck when he was able to find a seller for a broken laser pointer. eBay went public in 1998, per Celebrity Net Worth. This increased his net worth to $9.4 billion for his 178 million eBay shares. Now that the net worth of the CEO as of June 2020 stands at $17 billion, he is more focused on giving his wealth to the less fortunate. Thus, the Omidyar Network was born. 

Pierre Omidyar – eBay Pierre Omidyar, the founder of online auction site eBay, is ranked 16th in the list. Omidyar donated $61.5 million in 2010, to Hope­Lab; Humanity United, the nonprofit arm of the Omidyar Network, in Redwood City, which supports a variety of charities; and the nonprofit branch of the Ulupono Initiative, a Honolulu organization. His wife Ms. Omidyar is chairwoman of HopeLab, a nonprofit in Redwood City, Calif., that develops technology to help chronically ill children. Photo: Reuters

The Omidyar Network is unlike any other ventures as it focuses on philanthropy. Similar to Bill and Melissa Gates’s The Giving Pledge, the Omidyar Network helps out causes in education, health problems and environment protection, among others. One can say that Omidyar Network was The Giving Pledge before the latter came into fruition. 

Investing in social good became a personal mission for the eBay founder and his wife Pamela Omidyar. So far, the couple has given away at least $1 billion as they try to make a difference in the world. The couple resides in Honolulu, Hawaii with their three children. Omidyar was actually born in France before he migrated with his Iranian parents to the U.S. when he was six years old. 

Aside from eBay and his philanthropic activities, the 53-year-old serves as a trustee of Tufts University, Santa Fe Institute, and Punahou School. According to its website, Pierre Omidyar also serves as the CEO and publisher of Honolulu Civil Beat. He is also into real estate with shares in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and resort properties in California. 

Forbes listed Hawaii’s wealthiest man as the 118th richest person in 2020. Paypal was acquired by eBay in 2002 and Omidyar owns six percent of the online fund transfer service. eBay’s rates are lower compared to Amazon, but it takes a small fee for Paypal transactions. 

Omidyar serves as a prime example of how massive wealth can make a change in the world. The effects of giving and helping the less fortunate ripples and resonates to the more privileged. Billionaires are encouraged to join the Omidyar Network and The Giving Pledge during these uncertain times.