Jeffrey Stuart Skoll, OC (born January 16, 1965) is a Canadian engineer, internet entrepreneur and film producer. He was the first employee and subsequently first president of eBay, eventually using the wealth this gave him to become a philanthropist, particularly through the Skoll Foundation, and his media company Participant Media. He founded an investment firm, Capricorn Investment Group soon after and currently serves as its chairman. Born in Montreal, Quebec, he graduated from University of Toronto’s in 1987 and left Canada to attend Stanford University’s business school in 1993.
Shortly after graduating from business school, he began his career at eBay where he wrote the business plan that the company followed from its emergence as a start-up to a larger company. While at the company he began the eBay Foundation which was allocated pre-IPO stock now worth $32 million. Once eBay’s second largest stockholder, behind Omidyar, he subsequently cashed out a portion of his company holdings, yielding him around $2 billion. With an estimated net worth of $US 4 billion (as of December 2016), Skoll was ranked by Forbes as the 7th wealthiest Canadian and 134th in the United States.
Through his film production company, Participant Media–of which he is founder, owner, and chairman–he has produced numerous critically acclaimed films. His first films Syriana (2005), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), and North Country (2005), along with the documentary Murderball (2005), accounted for 11 Oscar nominations in 2006. His subsequent films have included An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Fast Food Nation (2006), The World According to Sesame Street (2006), Waiting for “Superman” (2010), Lincoln (2012), and his latest, Spotlight (2015) won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2016.