|Birth Day:||January 16, 1965|
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He attended Stanford University's Stanford Business School where he earned a Masters of Business Administration in 1995.
He graduated with a BASc with honours in 1987 from the University of Toronto's electrical engineering program. While an undergraduate student, he co-edited the engineering students' satirical newspaper The Toike Oike. He paid his way through college by pumping gas in North York, Ontario. After graduating he backpacked around the world for several months before returning and founding two businesses in Toronto: Skoll Engineering, an information technology consulting firm and Micros on the Move Ltd., a computer rental firm. He left Canada in 1993 to earn a Master of Business Administration degree at Stanford Business School, graduating in 1995. After Stanford he went to work at Knight-Ridder where he was working on internet projects for the publishing company.
In 1996 Skoll met eBay's founder Pierre Omidyar, who hired him as the company's first president and first full-time employee. While eBay was already profitable at the time Skoll joined, he wrote the business plan that eBay followed from its emergence as a start-up to a great success. He remained President until the arrival of Meg Whitman in January 1998 when he became vice president, Strategic Planning and Analysis until back problems necessitated his departure from full-time employment at the company. In 1998, he championed the creation of 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.
Skoll is a noted philanthropist; he is a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, and a Giving Pledge signatory. He has given the eponymous Skoll Foundation approximately $1 billion of eBay stock since its formation in 1999. The Foundation supports "social entrepreneurship". Skoll chairs the Foundation and as of 2020 makes grants in excess of $80 million per year. The Skoll Foundation's assets rank it as the largest foundation for social entrepreneurship in the world.
In 2004, Skoll founded the company Participant to create films that increase public awareness of critical social issues and give audiences opportunities to get involved through education and social action campaigns. In 2005, Skoll's first Participant productions were released, with Syriana; Good Night, and Good Luck; North Country; and Murderball, together garnering 11 Oscar nominations. A year later, Skoll financed and played a key role in the creation of the environmental documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which grew out of a slideshow developed by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore on the climate crisis. The film won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. “I would never have predicted that a film like An Inconvenient Truth would impact so many people,” Skoll told Philanthropy Roundtable.
In 2005, Skoll financed The Gandhi Project in partnership with Relief International which created a dubbed version in Arabic of the film Gandhi. They used Palestinian voice actors and artists to make the film particularly relevant to Palestinians. With Skoll's support, it was screened throughout Palestine to promote non-violence, self-reliance, economic development, and empowerment.
The Financial Times reported in 2009 that Participant allows Skoll to "pursue social and political causes through a mass medium. From modest beginnings, the company (which Skoll chairs, supported by a team of executives) is now a serious player." Fortune wrote the next year that Skoll’s films aren’t typical Hollywood fare, "they tackle weighty subjects such as eco-Armageddon, petro-terrorism, education reform, and women’s rights. In short they tend to reflect Skoll’s progressive, and ultimately optimistic, worldview that shining a light on the world’s problems will inspire people to band together to bring about change on a large scale. (Indeed, the name 'Participant' evokes a call to action.)"
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in 2014 Skoll funded the creation of the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, saying at the time: "I founded Participant Media in the belief that a story well told has the power to ignite positive social change. This new center at UCLA TFT is an extension of that vision, with the goal of empowering a new generation and elevating storytelling as a tool to create impact and empower people to connect to the social issues that can have a profound impact on our world." In March, 2019, Participant and the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment released a report, "The State of Social Impact Entertainment," that said: "social impact entertainment — narrative and documentary film, television, theater, and emerging forms that engage audiences in solving real-world challenges — is not a fad but the future of the entertainment industry."
Jeff Skoll married fellow Canadian Stephanie Swedlove in October 2014. He is an avid Montreal Canadiens fan.
In 2019, on behalf of Participant, Skoll and Participant CEO David Linde accepted the newly created TIFF Impact Award from the Toronto International Film Festival; in 2020 the award was renamed the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media and was awarded to Mira Nair.
Skoll has served as Executive Producer or Producer on nearly 100 Participant films, including Spotlight, Roma, and American Factory, and as of 2019 Participant has won 18 Oscars and received 73 Academy Award nominations. In 2020, the company received another Academy Award nomination and win for best documentary feature for American Factory.
As of 2020, Skoll has been working for over ten years to help prevent pandemics and other global threats. In 2009, Skoll donated $100 million to create the Skoll Global Threats Fund to confront threats to humanity in 5 areas: climate change, water security, pandemics, nuclear proliferation, and Middle East conflict. The Fund created and spun off a stand alone non-profit entity, Ending Pandemics, that focuses on pandemic detection and response. In 2011, Skoll's film company Participant Media co-produced the film Contagion to raise awareness about the dangers posed by pandemics. He wanted the film to be scientifically sound and encourage funding of medical experts; in 2020, media coverage noted it was "shocking in its accuracy". In 2020, Skoll donated $20 million in January, and then an additional $100 million in April, to the Skoll Foundation for use in combating the covid-19 pandemic. The $100 million donation was intended to be used to assist with covid-19 testing, contact tracing, and providing respiratory devices and other medical equipment to countries that cannot afford it or lack infrastructure to support it.
Currently, Jeffrey Skoll is 57 years, 5 months and 10 days old. Jeffrey Skoll will celebrate 58th birthday on a Monday 16th of January 2023.
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