SBJ/March 12 - 18, 2007/Forty Under 40

Jeff Fluhr

JEFF FLUHR
STUBHUB

Jeff Fluhr
Age: 33
• Titles: Co-founder and former CEO
• Company: StubHub
• Education: B.S., finance and engineering, University of Pennsylvania
• Family: Wife, Claire; a son on the way
• Career: Was a leverage buyout professional at The Blackstone Group from 1996-98; founding private equity professional at Thomas Weise Partners from 1998-99; founded StubHub.com in 2000.
• Last vacation: France
• Last book read: "Freakonomics,” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
• Last movie seen: "Borat”
TV show you never miss: I don’t watch TV.
• What’s on your iPod: Grateful Dead
• Pet peeve: Long answers to simple questions
• Greatest achievement: Growing StubHub
• Greatest disappointment: I wish I could have spent more time with my grandparents.
• Best sporting event you’ve ever attended: The Orange Bowl with FedEx hospitality
• Fantasy job: Stay-at-home dad, for a few months anyway
• Executive you most admire: Steve Jobs
• Business advice: Take risks.

Jeff Fluhr, StubHub co-founder and former chief executive, is now happily unemployed.
  
The 33-year-old found himself without a job after the recent closing of eBay's $310 million purchase of the San Francisco-based secondary ticketing company. The deal brought Fluhr alone an estimated $50 million and presented a powerful statement on the growth of the ticket resale business.

But beyond the payday, Fluhr is embracing becoming Mr. Mom to his newborn son, who was due at press time.

"I don't know what I'll be doing. There's no game plan right now," said Fluhr, who will not re-enter the ticketing business due to a noncompete clause in the eBay deal.

StubHub also was pursued by Ticketmaster and TicketsNow.com, and considered an initial public offering.

"Right now, I'm just really looking forward to being with my family and experiencing being a new parent," he said.

The break from the office grind marks a decided downshift for Fluhr, who spent more than seven years doggedly, and ultimately with success, trying to sell the sports industry establishment on the idea of creating a safe, viable outlet to resell sports, concert and performing arts tickets.

After a number of initial hurdles and plenty of opposition from teams, Fluhr and StubHub entered into January's acquisition by eBay holding more than 30 official partnerships with pro clubs and college athletic programs and boasting annual revenue of more than $100 million.

More broadly, the company is widely credited for helping legitimize and solidify an industry now worth more than $10 billion per year, even by those on less-than-great terms with Fluhr.

"Look, there's no denying what the company has become, and Jeff did a great job bringing StubHub to a liquidity event," said Eric Baker, StubHub co-founder who left the company after a dispute with Fluhr, but who still brought in more than $30 million after the sale and now runs Viagogo.com, a European secondary ticketing company.

— Eric Fisher

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