Steve Fisher is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at eBay. Steve reports to eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig and serves as a member of the executive team. Steve leads a team of software developers, quality engineers and infrastructure engineers powering eBay’s multi-screen experiences, core marketplace capabilities, big data insights, and the next generation commerce ecosystem.
With more than 20 years of industry experience, Steve joined eBay from salesforce.com where he served as Executive Vice President, Technology. He led a team of software developers, quality engineers and infrastructure engineers for its entire award-winning application and platform product line, which is used by more than 100,000 companies around the world, including eBay. Steve also held engineering positions at Apple and AT&T Labs. He also founded and served as CEO for NotifyMe Networks, an interactive voice-alerting platform application service provider. Steve graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematical and Computational Science and a master’s degree in Computer Science from Stanford University, and holds 21 patents.
eBay delivers one of the world’s largest online marketplaces to customers via any connected device, connecting people with the things they need and love.
With 157 million active buyers globally, eBay is one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, where practically anyone can buy and sell practically anything. Founded in 1995, eBay connects a diverse and passionate community of individual buyers and sellers, as well as small businesses. Their collective impact on ecommerce is staggering, and approximately 800 million items are listed on eBay.
Technology is core to eBay’s global business and commerce platform. As one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, eBay connects people with the things they need and love via any connected device.
With a global community of 157 million active buyers who browse and buy from approximately 800 million listed items, our technology charter is to create the most innovative, scalable commerce platform in the industry. With security, search, structured data, mobile, site availability and technology architecture all within our domain, the scope, scale, and complexity of our work is virtually unparalleled.
As eBay’s chief technology officer, my organization enables eBay’s diverse community of buyers and sellers to transact reliably, securely and seamlessly, across multiple screens. We are writing the next chapter in eBay’s history by advancing our technology strengths and focusing on our Purpose to empower people and create opportunity.
Delivering on these commitments takes high-caliber skills and abilities of a diverse group of technologists, who work together to innovate eBay’s world-class global commerce platform on behalf of our customers.
Subhead: Why we need diverse talent in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
Why a diverse group of technologists? Simply put, diverse groups of technologists bring different and more ways of viewing problems, and faster and better ways of solving them.
And yet, somewhere along the way, the technology industry, and the STEM field in general, has failed to adequately cultivate the interest of girls and invest meaningfully in the careers of female technologists, depriving our industry and the STEM field of untold efficiency and improvement gains. Our industry, technologies, and work teams are the poorer for the lack of gender diversity.
As the CTO of eBay, I believe that hiring, developing, and advancing diverse talent in technology roles is both a business imperative and the right thing to do. This dual purpose speaks to eBay’s mission and our business success. After all, eBay’s success is tied to our social purpose—creating more opportunities and enabling others to win while making a positive social impact.
Some of the programs I invest in to hire, develop and advance female technologists at eBay include:
- eBay has a strategic talent initiative with the goal of enabling eBay to be a place where women can build lasting careers. As a part of the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN), we focus on growing the number and representation of women in technology leadership roles. A key part of WIN is executive leadership commitment to mentor and/or sponsor 3 women annually.
- I support eWIT, eBay Women in Technology, our employee-founded and -led community that offers networking, development and speaker opportunities to our female technologists in 6 locations globally.
- I partner with the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology and sponsor the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conferences in both the U.S. and India.
- Through Girls Who Code and Hackbright Academy, we host and nurture an interest in technology for girls through 1-1 mentoring, internships, shadowing the role models, hackathons, and coding camps.
There are many other wonderful rewards in pursuing a technology career: the constant ability to learn and grow, take on new challenges, solve difficult and complex problems, and make a meaningful impact in the lives of others. With technology, individuals can truly change the world. In the course of a technology career, it’s likely one will learn persistence, and also the ability to make adjustments when necessary, to learn from mistakes, and to invest in the potential of others. Those interested in a challenging, fulfilling career, should consider and explore a STEM career.
STEM careers offer the ability to learn and grow as a career evolves. It requires enthusiasm about new things, excitement about technology, and dedication to the impact of technology and its value on our everyday lives. It means to passionately believe in a new way of doing things and be able to stand one’s ground amidst naysayers to convince them. STEM teaches persistence, flexibility and the importance of making adjustments when necessary, risk-taking and the ability to move forward even when things go wrong, and the commitment to giving back.
STEM careers are not easy – but nothing worthwhile is. It is fun, exciting and rewarding and for every STEM woman we have in our company we can have three more follow her as role models in her footsteps in the near future.