‘People are basically good,’ says billionaire philanthropist and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar

‘People are basically good,’ says philanthropist

THE OBSERVER

OCT 20, 2013

LONDON – Born: Pierre Omidyar was born in 1967 in Paris to Iranian immigrants. He moved to Washington at the age of 6 and graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1988. Omidyar worked for Claris, an Apple subsidiary, before setting up an e-commerce company that would become eBay. Best of times: In September 1998, eBay went public, making Omidyar a billionaire overnight. He is now worth close to $9 billion and spends most of his time in Hawaii with his wife and fellow philanthropist, Pamela.Worst of times: Omidyar became involved in a legal spat with Craigslist founder, Craig Newmark, and its chief executive, Jim Buckmaster, after eBay bought a 25 percent stake in the free listings firm from a disgruntled employee.

He says: “People are basically good,” according to Omidyar.

“I developed an interest in supporting independent journalists in a way that leverages their work to the greatest extent possible, all in support of the public interest. And I want to find ways to convert mainstream readers into engaged citizens. I think there’s more that can be done in this space, and I’m eager to explore the possibilities,” he said.

They say: “When I worked in Honolulu, he was there most days helping the site’s developers write code — Python and Erlang, for those who are keeping track — occasionally chuckling at our newsroom banter, and always eating healthier than anyone else in the room,” said Adrienne LaFrance, former journalist at Omidyar’s Civil Beat.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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