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Jeremy Stoppelman

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Jeremy Stoppelman
Jeremy Stoppelman LeWeb conference.jpg
Stoppelman in 2013
Born (1977-11-10) November 10, 1977 (age 43)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Harvard University
OccupationCEO of Yelp

Jeremy Stoppelman (born November 10, 1977) is an American business executive. He is the CEO of Yelp, which he co-founded in 2004. Stoppelman obtained a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1999. After briefly working for @Home Network, he worked at and later became the VP of Engineering after the company was renamed PayPal. Stoppelman left PayPal to attend Harvard Business School. During a summer internship at MRL Ventures, he and others came up with the idea for Yelp Inc. He turned down an acquisition offer by Google and took the company public in 2012.

Early life[edit]

Stoppelman was born in Arlington, Virginia in 1977.[2][3] His mother, Lynn, was an English teacher, and his father, John, was a securities lawyer.[4] Stoppelman is Jewish. He attended Langley High School and a Reform temple as a child and had a Bar Mitzvah.[5] As a child Stoppelman had an interest in computers and business[6][7] and began investing in stocks at the age of 14.[4][6] Stoppelman aspired to be a video game developer and took computer programming classes, where he learned the Turbo Pascal software programming system.[4][7] He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and obtained a bachelor's degree in computer engineering in 1999.[8] After graduating he took a job with @Home Network.[3]


After four months of working for @Home Network, Stoppelman accepted a position as an engineer at,[4] which later became PayPal. It was here that Stoppelman met businessman Max Levchin, who later became an investor in Stoppelman's company, Yelp Inc.[4][9] Stoppelman became the V.P. of engineering at PayPal,[10] and is one of a group of PayPal's early employees sometimes referred to as the PayPal Mafia.[10][11][12]

Stoppelman left PayPal after its 2003 acquisition by eBay and attended Harvard Business School for one year.[6][13][14][15] During Stoppelman's school break[4] Levchin persuaded Stoppelman to do an internship at the business incubator, MRL ventures.[8][16][17]


In the summer of 2004, Jeremy Stoppelman got the flu[18] and had a hard time finding recommendations for a local doctor. He and former PayPal colleague, Russel Simmons, who was also working at MRL Ventures,[10] began brainstorming on how to create an online community where users could share recommendations for local services.[6][17] Stoppelman and Simmons pitched the idea to Levchin who provided $1 million in initial funding.[17][19][20] Under Stoppelman's leadership, Yelp grew to a market capitalization of $4 billion and hosted 138 million user reviews.[6][17]

Steve Jobs called Stoppelman in January 2010 in an effort to persuade him to turn down an acquisition offer by Google[4][11][21] and in March 2012[22] Stoppelman rang the bell for the New York Stock Exchange after Yelp went public.[4] According to Stoppelman, the biggest challenge at Yelp has been "the same problem Google faces in its rankings." Business owners have been suing reviewers that leave negative reviews and raising allegations that Yelp tampers with reviews to favor companies that advertise, leading to legal troubles for the company.[4][11] In February 2013, Stoppelman accepted a salary of $1, though he continues to earn income from the investment of his 11 percent interest in the company.[23][24][25]

Stoppelman was the target of a viral 2016 open letter by Talia Jane on Medium, who worked at a Yelp subsidiary Eat24 in San Francisco. The letter described the difficulties Jane and her coworkers faced trying to live in the Bay Area on the wages provided to her, noting that she could not afford groceries or to use a heater in the winter. She was fired immediately after the letter's publication.[26][27] Stoppelman denied her firing was a result of the letter.[28] Yelp increased wages and benefits for low-level employees two months after the letter's publication.[29]

Management style[edit]

Stoppelman has a hands-on management style. Instead of a corner office, he has a desk among his employees.[30] In a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), when asked about the single most important management technique he'd learned and where, he said "This one I got from PayPal, but I'm a strong believer in doing one on one meetings with each of my reports every week. Sometimes I feel like the company's psychiatrist, but I do feel like listening to people and hearing about their problems (personal and professional) cleans out the cobwebs and keeps the organization humming.”[31]


Stoppelman is a "voracious" non-fiction reader,[6][9] and his brother Michael previously worked at Yelp as Senior Vice President of Engineering.[4] As of 2012, Stoppelman had written over one-thousand Yelp reviews.[6][9] As of 2011, his net worth was estimated to be $111 million to $222 million.[25]


  1. ^ "Dior Home Party". SFGate. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  2. ^ Internet Innovators. Salem Press. February 2013. pp. 354–355.
  3. ^ a b "Q&A: Yelp CEO prizes company's independence". San Jose Mercury News. June 22, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Guthrie, Julian (July 16, 2012). "Yelp's Jeremy Stoppelman: a profile". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  5. ^ Kamp, David. "What You Should Know About Jeremy Stoppelman: A panoply of eccentric biographical data re: the ur-yelper". Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g McNichol, Tom (Fall 2012). "Word on the Street" (PDF). NYSE Magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Balcita, Angela (January–February 2008). "The Startup Boys: A Conversation with founders Russel Simmons and Jeremy Stoppelman" (PDF). Imagine. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Maiellaro, Bridget (March 29, 2007), Like YouTube, PayPal, Yelp Has Illinois Root, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, retrieved August 5, 2013
  9. ^ a b c Chafkin, Max (November 26, 2012). "Not just another Web 2.0 company, Yelp basks in its star power". Fast Company. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Jarvis, Rebecca (December 4, 2012). "Yelp co-founder: "Be ready to bleed for your cause"". CBS News. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c "42: Jeremy Stoppelman". Vanity Fair. 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  12. ^ Nisen, Max (November 27, 2012). "Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman On What Created The 'PayPal Mafia' Of Successful Entrepreneurs". Business Insider. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  13. ^ "For Yelp, Locals Aren't Yokels". Newsweek. October 21, 2009. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  14. ^ Wei, William (December 10, 2012). "How Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman Became a Ridiculously Successful Tech Entrepreneur Worth Millions". Business Insider. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  15. ^ Sarah Lacy (2008). Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0. Gotham. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-59240-382-0.
  16. ^ Caulfield, Brian (December 8, 2009). "The Not-So-Evil Genius of Jeremy Stoppelman". Forbes. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  17. ^ a b c d Loten, Angus (November 14, 2012). "Search for Doctor Leads to Yelp". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  18. ^ Richmond, Riva (September 10, 2012). "Yelp Co-Founder Jeremy Stoppelman on Innovating and Staying Relevant". Entrepreneur. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  19. ^ Rubin, Courtney (November 30, 2011). "Yelp Goes Live in Australia as It Prepares for IPO". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  20. ^ O'Brien, Jeffrey M. (July 10, 2007). "Business paradigm shifts and free tequila shots". Fortune. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
  21. ^ Fiegerman, Seth (July 16, 2012). "Steve Jobs Called up Yelp and Said Don't Sell out to Google". Business Insider. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  22. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo (March 2, 2012). "Eye-Openers: Yelp goes public, Toronado gets sassy". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  23. ^ Grove, Jennifer (February 8, 2013). "Yelp CEO takes $1 salary". CNET. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  24. ^ Brown, Steven (February 8, 2013). "Yelp Inc. CEO Stoppelman's 2013 salary is $1". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  25. ^ a b Lynley, Matt (November 17, 2011). "You Won't Believe How Much Yelp's Top Shareholders are Worth Now". Business Insider. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  26. ^ Mack, David (20 February 2016). "This Woman's Post On Poverty Went Viral And She Lost Her Job". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  27. ^ Bever, Lindsey (23 February 2016). "The Yelp employee who wasn't making enough money to eat". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  28. ^ "Yelp v Talia Jane: Entitled Millennial or starving ex-employee?". BBC News. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  29. ^ Truong, Alice (28 April 2016). "Yelp increases wages after firing an employee who was critical about her low pay". Quartz. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  30. ^ Guthrie, Julian. "Yelp's Jeremy Stoppelman: a profile". SFGate. SFGate. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  31. ^ Nisen, Max. "Yelp CEO Shares His Single Most Important Management Tip". Business Insider. Retrieved March 25, 2015.

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