Hawaii’s philanthropic powerhouse Pierre Omidyar fell to No. 47 on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America.
The 43-year-old self-made billionaire-turned-philanthropist is worth $5.5 billion, the same as last year, when he ranked No. 40 on the Forbes list.
Omidyar, who lives in Hawaii with his wife, Pam, and three children, has donated a significant part of his fortune to local nonprofit groups.
Earlier this month, Omidyar said he planned to infuse Hawaii projects with more cash through his Ulupono Initiative, which promotes food sustainability, renewable energy and waste reduction.
Last year the Omidyars pledged $50 million over six years to the Hawaii Community Foundation, a charitable services and grant-making organization.
“Through the Ulupono Initiative and Hawaii Community Foundation, what he and Pam are trying to do is find ways to provide opportunities for people in Hawaii to improve their quality of life,” said Sarah Steven, spokeswoman for the Omidyar family.
By HARRY EAGAR, Staff Writer
Pierre Omidyar, who invested in Maui Land & Pineapple Co. stock when the company was being pushed in a greener direction, is now supporting a for-profit/charitable combination that is taking over ML&P’s Kapalua Farms, one of the largest organic farms in the state.
Since ML&P also closed its Maui Pineapple Co. subsidiary, then leased much of its land and equipment to the upstart Haliimaile Pineapple Co. this month, the handover takes ML&P completely out of agriculture.
On Friday, Ulupono Sustainable Agriculture Development LLC, a subsidiary of the Ulupono Initiative, announced it would be assuming operations of Kapalua Farms, which not only supplies vegetables and eggs to ML&P’s Kapalua Resort but also conducts research into new methods of producing food on Maui. Ulupono Initiative is a Hawaii-focused social investment organization founded in June with backing from Omidyar and his wife, Pam. He was a founder of eBay, and they now live in Hawaii.
Warren Haruki, chairman and interim chief executive officer of ML&P, said, "We are pleased to partner with Ulupono Sustainable Agriculture Development as they assume operations of Kapalua Farms. Our desire was to find an operational partner that would be able to continue organic farming operations and to maintain Kapalua Farms as a community resource, employer and provider."