Ken Howery: Former Paypal CFO | Net worth, Bio, Career

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  • Ken was the first CFO and part of the original founders of PayPal.
  • He was the Director of Corporate Affairs at eBay.
  • He was also a co-founder of Founders Fund.

Who is Ken Howery?

Ken Howery is a successful figure in the American business world. Not only has he founded a handful of companies, but he’s also been part of the driving force behind some of America’s big businesses like PayPal and eBay. 

Taking a detour from the world of tech, he took a job with the US government where he served as the US Ambassador to Sweden.

Net Worth

Ken Howery’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 billion

Early Life

Howery was born in Texas in 1975. He graduated from Stanford University in 1998 with a B.A. in Economics.

During his time on campus, he was in charge of The Stanford Review, a captivating student-run newspaper created with the support of Peter Thiel’s initiative.


It isn’t publicly known whether Ken Howery has a partner or kids.


Ken Howery is one of the key figures behind PayPal’s initial success, being one of the original group of five that got it off the ground. However, he has also played a major part in a number of successful businesses, like eBay and the Founder’s Fund. 


Howery is one of the 5 founders who started PayPal alongside Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Max Levchin, and Luke Nosek. He was the first Chief Financial Officer of the company from 1998 to 2002.

During his time at PayPal, Ken worked on a project that boosted the company’s growth on eBay.

He was instrumental in obtaining over $200 million in private financing and also made significant contributions to PayPal’s fundraising efforts in Europe.

Ken played a key role in facilitating PayPal’s $1.5 billion sale to eBay, and was also involved in the company’s public offerings.

Like others in the ‘PayPal Mafia’ group, Howery left after eBay’s acquisition. But unlike the rest, he didn’t sever all ties with eBay and continued to work with them.


From 2002 to 2003, Howery worked at eBay as the Director of Corporate Development. However, he did not stay there for long and decided to join forces with Peter Thiel for a new business endeavor.

Clarium Capital Management

Howery, along with many of his colleagues from the PayPal Mafia, reunited with Peter Thiel and joined Clarium Capital Management. He assumed the position of Vice President of Private Equity and actively participated in their research and trading teams.

Founders Fund

Founders Fund is a venture capital fund with a focus on tech. It is one of the many initiatives that Peter Thiel had a major hand in establishing and backing.

The Fund excelled under Howery’s leadership. They invested in over 200 companies and managed a portfolio exceeding $3 billion. Some of these businesses include some big names like Facebook, Quantcast, and Wish. They also put resources into Palantir Technologies, Spotify, ZocDoc, Domo, Twilio, Stemcentrx, SpaceX, and AirBnB.

Howery had quite a run, sticking around for 14 years before parting ways in 2019.

Best Quotes by Ken Howery

  • “”Larry Page shows how DeepMind is creating  # A.I. that is learning things on its own, which is why we were their 1st backers.”
  • “The best companies are those that are mission driven – where it’s not just about making money, it’s about solving an important problem in the world – you get better engineers and people work harder.”
  • “There are too many companies designing apps to help you find where to eat dinner and not enough that are solving really important problems in the world.”
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