eBay Inc. General Counsel Honored for Life’s Work

eBay Inc. Staff

Mike Jacobson, general counsel of eBay Inc. Photo courtesy of eBay Inc.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal and the San Francisco Business Times have honored eBay Inc.’s General Counsel Mike Jacobson with a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing more than 30 years of outstanding legal service.

Fifteen of those years have been spent at eBay – Mike joined as general counsel in 1998. Back then, eBay was privately held and consisted of 150 employees. Today, it’s a publicly traded company of 31,500 employees, and the legal and government relations team that he heads has swelled to about 350.

In an emailed statement to the Business Journal, eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe commented: “Mike’s contribution as general counsel and as an invaluable member of the leadership team have been instrumental to eBay’s success.”

A graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School, Mike was a partner at Cooley Godward LLP (now Cooley LLP), focusing on securities and mergers, when he left to join eBay. At the time, eBay was an auction-based site known for Beanie Babies and collectibles, but Jacobson was attracted to its innovative business model and complex issues. His background in mergers has come in handy – Mike has handled dozens of billion-dollar acquisitions, including GSI and PayPal.

Meg Whitman, who was CEO of eBay when Mike joined, said that his work in the early days of ecommerce helped set standards that now guide the entire industry.

“Without Mike Jacobson, the eBay that exists today might not exist at all,” Meg said in an emailed statement to the Business Journal.

As commerce continues to evolve, Mike looks forward to helping to build the eBay of tomorrow, as well.

“I’m one of those people who really does like learning new stuff,” he told the Business Journal. “That’s one of the things that keeps me going.”

The Best Bay Area Corporate Counsel Awards section is in today’s edition of the Silicon Valley Business Journal and the San Francisco Business Times, in California. The full article on Mike is available online to subscribers only.