A New York magazine profile examines Pierre Omidyar, the once-reclusive eBay founder who has re-entered the public arena with ventures in media and philanthropy. Mr. Omidyar helped spearhead what’s now called “venture philanthropy” by mixing Silicon Valley entrepreneurship with charitable aims. His projects include a $100-million microfinance fund and a just-announced $200-million Global Innovation Fund, established in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Mr. Omidyar has also been a forceful proponent of government transparency and watchdog journalism. He recently founded the Intercept, a website headed by national-security journalist Glenn Greenwald. Mr. Greenwald shared a Pulitzer Prize with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and others for obtaining Edward Snowden’s leaks on NSA snooping.
The Intercept is meant to serve as the prototype for other publications funded by Mr. Omidyar's company, First Look Media. He has already committed $250-million to the project.