Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 465 Jeff Skoll $5.50B

Random fact: Took 41st spot on Vanity Fair's New Establishment list in 2007.


Skoll is the founder and chairman of Participant Media, a media company based in Beverly Hills. Prior to that, he was the first full-time employee of EBay, the online marketplace. His money is managed through Capricorn Investment Group and his philanthropic endeavors through the Skoll Foundation.

As of :
Last change No change
YTD change +$25.0M ( +0.5%)
Biggest asset Cash
Country / Region United States
Age 58
Industry Technology
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Jeff Skoll's net worth of $5.50B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Skoll's fortune is derived from the stake he once held in EBay. According to a February 2007 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission -- the last time he disclosed his ownership with the regulatory body -- Skoll owned about 67.3 million shares of the online marketplace operator. 

Prior to that, Skoll had been a steady seller of EBay stock. His holdings reached their peak of about 91 million shares following a two-for-one stock split in February 2005. By the end of 2006, he had divested about a quarter of that position. Between the time of EBay's initial public offering in 1998 and his last SEC disclosure in 2007, Skoll sold almost $2 billion in stock and donated shares worth about $500 million. On average, the former EBay executive sold about 5.6 million shares a year. This net worth calculation applies a similar sell rate, which assumes that Skoll sold all his shares by the end of 2018.

The bulk of Skoll's personal holdings are managed through Capricorn Investment Group, a closely held company that doesn't disclose its financial results. The value of his cash and other assets holdings is based on an analysis of his reported sales, taxes, charitable giving and market appreciation.

Skoll's other commercial endeavor, Participant Media, invests in and produces movies and television programming. Determining a value for this operation is difficult, given the opacity of the financing arrangements -- most Participant projects involve several partners -- and the general disadvantage boutique production houses face in Hollywood. Participant is given no value in this calculation as a result.

Lindsey Spindle, a spokesperson for the Jell Skoll Group, declined to comment on the net worth calculation.


Family: Unknown, No children

Jeffrey Skoll was born to a middle class family in Canada in 1965. He was an avid reader as a child, consuming books by writers such as Ayn Rand and James Michener. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in electrical engineering, he received his MBA from Stanford Business School.

While in California, he met Pierre Omidyar, the founder of EBay. Skoll would go on to become the both the company's first employee and its first president. He became a U.S. citizen in 2007, according to a 2012 interview with Stanford magazine.

Skoll became a billionaire soon after EBay sold shares in a 1998 initial public offering; he stepped down as president and was replaced by Meg Whitman in the same year. Since then, Skoll has focused on philanthropy, impact investing and filmmaking, passions that stemmed from his childhood interest in books, philosophy and storytelling.

He founded Participant Media in 2004 to create content for social change. The company helped make films such as "An Inconvenient Truth," "Fast Food Nation" and "Charlie Wilson's War." The company has won several Academy Awards, including two best pictures for "Spotlight" in 2015 and "Green Book" in 2019.

The billionaire intends to donate the majority of his wealth to charity, having joined the Giving Pledge in 2010. His foundation has granted nearly $700 million since its founding in support of social entrepreneurs.

  • 1965 Jeffrey S. Skoll is born in Montreal.
  • 1993 Enrolls at Stanford University; graduates with an MBA two years later.
  • 1996 Meets EBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Becomes first full-time employee.
  • 1998 Ebay sells shares in an initial public offering in September.
  • 1998 Becomes a billionaire in November when EBay shares crest $100.
  • 1999 Creates the Skoll Foundation to support social entrepreneurialism.
  • 2004 Founds Participant Media.
  • 2012 With Steven Spielberg, produces best-picture nominee "Lincoln."