Who Owns Webvan?

You may be wondering: who is Louis Borders? What about Peter Relan? And who is George Shaheen? These are just a few of the names behind this company. Read on to learn more about these three founders. And, if you’re still confused, keep reading! You’ll find out who Webvan’s real owners are! Also, find out how they’re related. Read on to find out who owns Webvan and what the company’s history is magazine360.

Louis Borders

The founder of webvan, Louis Borders, is no stranger to high-risk ventures. The owner of the Borders bookstore chain, he has been aiming to launch an online grocery delivery service for the last 20 years. Webvan raised $800 million from investors, but it filed for bankruptcy in 2001 due to high losses. He has returned to the market, though, with plans to use robots to deliver groceries. But he will have a tough time convincing investors that his new grocery delivery business is a good investment.

Though Borders is no stranger to startup failures, he has a proven track record. His retail 101 is to prove a market exists before expanding. Webvan began operating in 10 cities in six months, and ultimately expanded to 26. Borders served as CEO for the company at the beginning, but turned over the reigns to a new CEO in September 1999. George Shaheen took over the company two months before it went public. After the company IPO, Borders stepped down as chairman healthwebnews.

Peter Relan

Peter Relan is a Stanford University alumnus who was the CTO and founder of the ill-fated Webvan company. Before founding Webvan, he worked for companies such as Oracle and Hewlett-Packard. He then went on to found three low-volume, high-touch incubators. One of his early classes included Jason Citron, who was writing a social mobile gaming company. OpenFeint eventually went on to be purchased by Gree of Japan theinteriorstyle.

The company had a massive distribution center in Oakland but failed to get enough users. It quickly expanded too far into nine U.S. markets and failed. A major reason why Webvan failed was because it gave away its service for free. It wasn’t a good idea to do this, as Warren Buffett famously said: “Revolutionary ideas don’t work marketbusiness.”

George Shaheen

For the past year, Webvan has been facing a tough road to profitability. The founder and CEO of the company, George Shaheen, left his lucrative consulting job at Andersen Consulting to focus on building a transportation startup. Webvan’s founder had to convince investors that the business would make it through a rough patch, and Shaheen needed long-term cash commitments to secure the CEO role. Webvan also paid Shaheen up-front for his cachet and connections in the high-tech and finance world.

Shaheen joined the company in 1999, during the dot-com bubble. Webvan planned to deliver online grocery orders in 30 minutes. Shaheen filed an employment agreement with the SEC, which shows he got a huge pay package for his time with Webvan. He was also offered a lifetime retirement package of $375,000 per year. Despite all of these benefits, Shaheen didn’t have much time to spend on his new startup thecarsky.

George T. Shaheen

Former high-powered corporate lawyer George T. Shaheen jumped from a long-term position with Andersen Consulting to easy money at Webvan. He joined the company shortly after it went public and oversaw its spectacular decline, which ended after less than two years. Shaheen received a hefty severance package, including “free” $6.5 million. But is that worth it?

While the owner of the Webvan cited the need to avoid a scandal, there was one snag. Shaheen resigned from the company and went into retirement last month, and the news did not seem to hurt Webvan’s cash flow. Job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas’ CEO, said that the company’s CEO must offer a retirement package to entice old-school executives to join its risky e-commerce venture.


Although it seems unlikely that George T. Shaheen will take another job as CEO, his choice to join Webvan represents a turning point in the internet economy. Shaheen had spent 30 years at Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture. He oversaw 65,000 employees at the world’s largest consulting firm, making $3.5 million to $5 million per year. But the rise of the internet’s value led many executives to leave their high-paying jobs in favor of stock-option bonanzas at internet companies.

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