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 a short time working for @Home Network, he worked at X.com 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.
Stoppelman was born in Arlington, Virginia in 1977. His mother, Lynn, was an English teacher, and his father, John, was a securities lawyer. Stoppelman is Jewish. He attended Langley High School and a Reform temple as a child and had a Bar Mitzvah. As a child Stoppelman had an interest in computers and business and began investing in stocks at the age of 14. Stoppelman aspired to be a video game developer and took computer programming classes, where he learned the Turbo Pascal software programming system. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and obtained a bachelor's degree in computer engineering in 1999. After graduating he took a job with @Home Network.
After four months of working for @Home Network, Stoppelman accepted a position as an engineer at X.com, which later became PayPal. It was here that Stoppelman met businessman Max Levchin, who later became an investor in Stoppelman's company, Yelp Inc. Stoppelman became the V.P. of engineering at PayPal, and is one of a group of PayPal's early employees sometimes referred to as the PayPal Mafia.
Stoppelman left PayPal, after it was acquired by eBay in 2003 and attended Harvard Business School for one year. During Stoppelman's school break Levchin persuaded Stoppelman to do an internship at the business incubator, MRL ventures.
In the summer of 2004, Jeremy Stoppelman got the flu 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, began brainstorming on how to create an online community where users could share recommendations for local services. Stoppelman and Simmons pitched the idea to Levchin who provided $1 million in initial funding. Under Stoppelman's leadership, Yelp grew to a market capitalization of $4 billion and hosted 138 million user reviews.
Steve Jobs called Stoppelman in January 2010 in an effort to persuade him to turn down an acquisition offer by Google and in March 2012 Stoppelman rang the bell for the New York Stock Exchange after Yelp went public. 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. 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.
Stoppelman has a hands-on management style. Instead of a corner office, he has a desk among his employees. 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.”
Stoppelman is a "voracious" non-fiction reader, and his brother Michael previously worked at Yelp as Senior Vice President of Engineering. As of 2012, Stoppelman had written over one-thousand Yelp reviews. As of 2011, his net worth was estimated to be $111 million to $222 million.