Andre Haddad can be said to have the Midas touch since everything he has touched turned into a fortune. His first business, iBazar, was sold to eBay for $140 million, and Turo has become the largest and first peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace in the world. The platform now has at least 350,000 vehicles and over 5 million registered users, most probably because it charges 35% less than car rentals. Andre did not have the skills to start a business, let alone run one online, but he has learned a lot through his experiences. Here is everything you need to know about Turo's CEO.
1. His most awkward conversation
Andre was not aware of where his sexuality lay; therefore, he dated girls until when he was in his last year of business school that he acknowledged that he was attracted to men. At the time, he had a girlfriend and had to tell her why they could not continue with the relationship. To this day, that conservation remains the most awkward for the CEO.
2. He met his husband through a dating site
For those who are skeptical about meeting the love of their lives on the internet, Andre can testify that it works. He began surfing the net when the internet was introduced to the world, and in one of the gay sites in France, he was lucky to find his soulmate in 1996.
3. He has always wanted a family
Unlike his partner, Andre has always wanted to have children; therefore, when they met, and Andre talked about them having children in the future, his partner was not sure. Still, Andre was not ready to have his dream cut short, so he managed to convince his partner to warm up to the idea. Having met a colleague who had had a child through a surrogate and egg donor, Andre wanted to have his children through the method too. Consequently, in 2006, the couple welcomed twins, a boy, and a girl, into their family.
4. He prioritizes his family
Most business executives barely have time to eat a proper meal, let alone spend time with the family, but that does not happen in the Haddad household. In 2011 when he talked to Out and Around, the CEO described that the first thing he does every morning upon waking up is give thanks for how he blessed he is. Therefore he ensures that he has enough time to be with each of his children. At the time, he had just resigned from eBay and was searching for new opportunities, which gave him more than enough time to be with his family. On Monday through Wednesday, Andre spent each day with his daughter, son, and partner, respectively.
5. He rents out his cars on Turo
Andre believes whatever he owns should be used to make him more money. He waited four years to get his Tesla Model X, and when he finally had it, he rented it out on Turo for $499 per day. Of course, that was one way to advertise the services of his company, but like any savvy businessmen, he always ensures that he knows who will be driving his cars. So far, he has six of his vehicles available for hire instead of letting them sit idly at home.
6. He was against President Trump's travel ban
In mid-2018, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump's travel ban, which was against most CEO in Silicon Valley, among them being Andre. Andre reasoned that Turo's staff and the clientele were mainly comprised of immigrants, and banning them would be to the detriment of the company financially. According to Yahoo, the CEO, being an immigrant himself, was quite sympathetic to the plight of immigrants who he believes carry a huge entrepreneurial spirit that would also benefit America.
7. How iBazar came to be
Haddad was used to the sound of bombs in Lebanon since, in his childhood, the country was going through a civil war. Unfortunately, one of the bombs hit his home, and besides destroying a poster of Madonna that Andre had in his room, it also burned down his music collection. Therefore when he moved to France, Andre had to get a new one by buying CDs through eBay and have them shipped to him. His entrepreneurial spirit kicked in, and he bought enough for himself and to sell to others. He realized that the fact that he had to buy from the US meant there was a gap in the European market; hence he decided to venture into e-commerce. Andre, therefore, asked his friends to help him set up iBazar in the late 90s.
8. He used to be a DJ
Andre's love for music has come a long way in not only helping him to establish his first company but also in leading him to search for jobs as a DJ. In his teens, he used to go to the RML FM radio station in Beirut every Tuesday and Thursday for a deejaying gig. Still, that part of his life remains to date since he likes to spin 90s house for his employees, according to Sharp Magazine.
9. Why he joined RelayRides
Andre had worked at eBay for quite some time and was ready to take some time off as he thought of what to do next. He then ran into Shelby Clark, founder of RelayRides, and immediately fell in love with the idea of the company. For him, he had always believed everything you have should be making you money; hence the concept made sense to him. Besides, being a car enthusiast, the platform would enable him to satisfy that passion as well. What he loves most about the transformation that the company has undergone is the amount of faith it places in people.
10. His wish for the gay community
In 2011, Andre wished that in the next two decades, the gay community would have their rights respected wherever they are. He also hoped that measures would be put in place to ensure that any gay couple that wants to start a family can do so without digging so deep into their pockets.
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Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee