eBay CPO RJ Pittman, on why business success is built on the principles of passion, people and purpose

Yitzi Weiner
Jan 31, 2019 · 8 min read

Early on, I framed my career with three key principles — passion, people and purpose. I have found that by starting any personal or professional initiative with purpose has allowed me to create the most meaningful and impactful experiences. Throughout my career, this has led me to organizations on a mission to unlock positive social impact in some way. At Google, we were all working towards organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful. At Apple, the focus was on building products that our customers would love, and to change the world for the better.

At eBay, I have been able to bring the purpose of my work much closer to the livelihood of people, families, entrepreneurs and businesses around the world — combining technology, brand, and experiences together — to create a global marketplace that provides equal opportunity for everyone. Our vision for commerce is one that is enabled by people, powered by technology and open to everyone.

An important factor in my decision to join eBay was the massive potential of its global impact and charitable giving engine. I saw a real chance to amplify eBay’s mission to empower people and create economic opportunity, while creating new avenues of growth for our marketplace. Today, our sellers can designate a percentage of their proceeds to charities. Tomorrow, we envision a world where charitable giving is an integral part of commerce as we know it today.


  1. Failure is essential to success. Ego is the enemy of success. It keeps us from embracing the valuable lessons when things don’t go as planned.
  2. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. As a young leader, it’s tempting to want to engage in problems head on with the source- because we are so passionate and emotionally attached to our business, product, and ideas. This obscures good judgement, contributes to an unhealthy decision-making culture in your company and will almost certainly produce suboptimal results.
  3. Get real, stay real. Don’t just love your company, but also be your toughest critic. Everybody drinks the Kool-Aid at some point in their company or career. Resist the temptation to be the only person who loves the product you created — or you surely will be.
  4. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. Don’t be discouraged if your ideas are not always the most popular in the room. You’re not being truly innovative if you aren’t making people uncomfortable with your vision.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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