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Former eBay CFO Joins Equity Firm of Tech Darlings

eBay’s former Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan joined General Atlantic as an operating partner. He will work with the company’s investment team in the Internet and technology sector. The growth equity firm has among the clients in its portfolio tech darlings Uber, Airbnb, and Gilt Group.

Swan will be part of the firm’s Resources Group and will be based in its Palo Alto, California office. He will also lead General Atlantic’s efforts in supporting global portfolio companies as they grow through strategic mergers and acquisitions and develop their finance functions.

Equity firms provide capital to their client companies, and in the case of General Atlantic, strategic support as well. What’s the difference between an equity firm and a venture capital firm? Here’s an explanation from a Forbes contributor that might be helpful.

“Private equity is usually about taking an existing company with existing products and existing cash flows, then restructuring that company to optimize its financial performance. When private equity works right, it can save poorly-performing companies from bankruptcy and turn them into profitable enterprises,” explains entrepreneur and investor Victor W. Hwang. “The venture capital process is usually much messier. Often, you start with a ragtag guerilla outfit, with no obvious path forward.”

Bob Swan joined eBay in 2006 and left in July after the breakup with PayPal; he remains on the Board of Directors of eBay.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.