13. John Donahoe, President and CEO, eBay - Most Powerful People in Wireless


John Donahoe, President and CEO, eBayWhat makes him powerful: When eBay reported third quarter 2012 revenues of $3.4 billion, a 15 percent year-over-year increase, the company's president and CEO John Donahoe was quick to credit the growth to early bets on mobile commerce and mobile payments that are now paying huge dividends. Downloads of eBay's suite of mobile apps have now eclipsed the 100 million mark globally, and the company is on pace to reach $10 billion in mobile gross merchandise volume this year, up from $5 billion in 2011. No less impressive, its PayPal unit expects to handle $10 billion in mobile payment transactions in 2012, an increase of 150 percent over a year ago.

Purchases and payments are the twin engines fueling eBay's mobile growth, of course, but what's most impressive is how the company continues to identify and exploit innovative new wrinkles on both concepts. This year eBay introduced Watch for eBay, a second-screen application enabling Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad tablet owners to purchase items related directly to the television program they're currently viewing. Consumers enter their zip code or cable/satellite provider to determine what's on TV, then browse items corresponding to the broadcast--for example, DVDs and memorabilia connected to favorite films and actors, or sports gear tied to a favorite team. The firm is also trialing eBay Now, a mobile service that allows consumers in the San Francisco market to purchase products from retail partners including Macy's, Target and Walgreens and receive their shipment later that same day.

PayPal is making even greater strides in 2012. PayPal Here, which enables small businesses and others to process credit and debit transactions by swiping cards through a triangle-shaped dongle that attaches to their smartphone or tablet, launched in March--users are billed a flat rate of 2.7 percent per transaction, a .05 percent savings over rival Square's mobile payment offering. More than 200,000 merchants signed up for PayPal Here within its first month of availability, and in October, PayPal announced its first U.S. retail deal with AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), which will sell the Here reader in 1,800 locations across the U.S.

PayPal has also introduced a mobile wallet service currently in trials across American retail chains including Home Depot, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, JCPenney, Foot Locker, Office Depot and Toys "R" Us. The mobile wallet connects consumers' existing PayPal account to their mobile device--to complete a purchase, users enter their phone number and PIN code into the participating retailer's point-of-sale terminal. The service also features price comparison and shopping list tools as well as support for coupons and offers. Beginning in 2013, financial services giant Discover will equip all 7 million of its U.S. merchant partners to accept PayPal transactions--the companies are also negotiating to extend the alliance to Discover's international payments network. Even if eBay is already the largest mobile commerce and payments provider in the world, Donahoe is just getting started.--Jason

Special Report: Top 25 Most Powerful People in U.S. Wireless 2012