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Having worked with some of the world's largest companies like PayPal, AT&T,, Virgin Mobile USA, American Express etc, Dan Schulman, a pioneer in financial inclusion, has senior leadership experience of over three decades. As the President and CEO of one of the Silicon Valley's biggest technology companies, PayPal, Dan makes money work better for people around the world. Dan keeps finding unique growth opportunities for the company and its stakeholders with his dynamic leadership, vision and deep knowledge in payments and mobile technology. He has taken three companies public so far. Dan is known to be one of the most successful chief executives in the fiercely competitive e-commerce arena. This hands on CEO is a leader who leads by example and practices what he preach.

Close to two decades with AT&T...

Dan Schulman worked for 18 years at AT&T from 1981 to 1999. Immediately after his graduation, he started off as an entry-level associate account executive earning $14,200 a year and kept moving through a series of positions of increasing responsibility. He was the President, Consumer Division managing about 40,000+ people when he stepped down in 1999. He became the youngest member of the operating group of AT&T's consumer business.

With the start-up,

Realising that the internet is going to be the future, Dan Schulman left his cushy job at AT&T to join the internet start-up, where he was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer. He established one of the most popular and recognised brands on the Internet nearly tripling revenues in one year and growing the customer base from 2 million to 5.3 million users However was fired the following year.

Driving Virgin Mobile USA from scratch to be the leader...

In 2001, Dan joined Virgin Mobile USA as its eighth employee when Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin group, invited him to his new venture. Branson wanted to create a carrier for the less affluent customer group, for whom expensive cellular plans are often inaccessible. As the CEO for the next eight years, Dan led the company from its concept stage to one among the top ten carriers of the nation. The journey was not a cake walk though. Many times, there were discussions on shutting down the business and parting ways due to lack of resources. The company was later sold to Sprint Nextel for $420 million in 2009.

Sprint Nextel...

Post-acquisition, Dan continued with Sprint as the President of its Prepaid Group for another year before moving to American Express.

Expanding the reach of American Express...

For four years since 2010, Dan Schulman was the Group President – Enterprise Growth at American Express. He worked closely with his team to introduce next-generation digital payments platform and developed non-traditional sources of revenue. While there, he also focused on building unique banking services for the younger customers, lower income clients, homeless youth and others who are often disregarded by the banks or subject to unreasonable interest rates. This urge to expand the demographic reach led to the introduction of a suite of payment products including the prepaid card, AmEx Bluebird. Among many who found this captivating was the CEO of eBay, John Donahoe. The impressive CEO immediately invited Dan to join the tribe as the head of PayPal.

Leading PayPal forward...

In September 2014, Dan was appointed as the President of PayPal, which was still under eBay. By mid of 2015, it spin off from eBay after 13 years together and became an independent company under the leadership of Dan Schulman. Post the dotcom crash, the company went public in 2002. PayPal had had tremendous success under the leadership of Dan since then. He has organised and reorganised to implement new strategies and lead the company to great heights at a time when mobile is blurring the boundaries between online and in store. PayPal is currently developing and enhancing the tools that will transform financial services by reimagining how people move and manage money and how merchants and consumers interact and transact. It is also focusing on developing services targeting the lower and middle class, envisioning that Paypal should be enjoyed by all, not just the people of affluence. While PayPal remains the leader in digital payments, many new players are entering the market including Apple. He is very positive and confident about the competition the company will have to face.

As President and CEO of PayPal, Dan Schulman is striving to make digital payments simple, secure, affordable and accessible to everybody. He focuses on transforming financial services to make life easier for billions of people around the world. He dreams of Paypal being a daily or weekly habit. 200 million people use PayPal regularly. It operates in about 200 countries around the world doing over 6 billion transactions.

Personal life...

An Economics graduate from Middlebury College, Vermont, Dan Schulman holds an MBA in Finance from New York University's Leonard N Stern School of Business. Dan is married to Jennie Ann Kassanoff with two children and lives in New Jersey.

Dan was very active in sports during his schooldays. This avid lover of martial arts, practices Krav Maga everyday, the brutally effective self-defence system developed for the Israeli army and it helps him to focus his mind. As he gets ready for the day after 90 minutes of sparring in a high-stress environment, everything at work seems reasonably easy for him. He has never raised his voice ever in the office. He thanks Krav Maga for the same.

An empathetic heart always committed to help those in need, Dan serves as a board member at Autism Speaks. Richard Branson also became one of his biggest influencers. They share the common idea of viewing business as a force for good in the world. They believe that those in a position to have an impact have a responsibility to do it.

Experiencing being homeless for a day...

During his Virgin days, he had once spent twenty four hours as homeless on the streets of New York City, begging for money and food and slept in a skating park to understand their lives for a project which the company was venturing into to support the homeless. He took the notes from the street to his professional as well as personal life. He had also joined hands with Stand-up for Kids, a non-profit that distributes survival kits and a hotline number to homeless youth. His efforts were recognised at national and international level.

"There's a certain amount of deference paid to a C.E.O. No one paid attention to me on the street. I consider myself a good communicator and a good salesman. It took me five hours of begging to raise less than a dollar. My entire concept of what is important changed. Time is usually my most valuable commodity, but for that 24 hours I had too much time. Forget Starbucks and a $4 latte — I walked two miles to find a 25-cent cup of coffee." He said sharing his experience of being homeless in NYC.

Memberships and associations...

Chairman of Symantec (SYMC-NASDAQ)
Board member of Flextronics (FLEX-NASDAQ)
Advisory committee member of Greycroft Partners
Former Board of Governors member of Rutgers
Board member of Teach for America
Board member at Autism Speaks

Awards and accolades...

Named as one of the top 20 people to watch in media by Business Week
Named as the Ernst & Young 2009 Entrepreneur Of The Year
Named as one of the top 25 most powerful people in the global wireless industry in 2009
Named as one of the top 50 global business leaders by Fortune
Named as one of the top 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company
Named as one of the top 5 change agents in the banking industry


I've done martial arts almost all my life, and that's informed not just fighting skills but living skills as well. It's been an important part of how I think about both living in general and work, and it informs my philosophy there.
When you have an extremely large market, growing at a nice clip, that always invites competition.
Every single job I’ve had, I’ve learned great lessons from.
As a leader, I try to define my role as dealing with the facts of any situation while providing inspiration to employees—finding something they can get excited about.
If you want to have the best employees, there really needs to be a vision and a mission. Talent looks for a mission. And if you have the best talent, that's the single biggest competitive advantage any company can have

Hope viewers caught up the spark …