Dutta began his career with a 10-year run at Bio-Rad Laboratories, after which he spent a short time with chip-maker KLA-Tencor. He then would join eBay (ebay) as its finance director in 1998, just before the online auction company went public. Dutta later served in a variety of executive positions at eBay, including as chief financial officer and president of acquired company Skype and PayPal.
He later would serve as eBay's executive vice president and president of Marketplaces, before leaving in November 2009 to join private equity firm Elevation Partners as a managing director. In an interview with peHUB at the time, Dutta said:
I had been at eBay for a really long time, and had run every operating division of the company. They were great and wonderful businesses and fulfilling jobs. But as I thought about what I wanted to do next, I felt like I had checked those boxes. I've been part of a startup. I've been part of a rising star. I've been part of a European business.
So I wanted to find something different that could still match what I'd been doing in terms of intellectual diversity, in terms of fun and in terms of great people... I've known [Elevation partner] Fred Anderson for a long time, and have gotten to know the others. They have a view of private equity that is very different of what I'd considered private equity to be. They have an operational perspective that plays right into what I've been doing all my professional life.
Dutta quickly took a board seat with Elevation portfolio company Palm (later acquired by HP), but was hamstrung by the firm's inability so far to raise a new fund. Just last week, this space wrote that Elevation's future could be gauged by whether Dutta and another recent hire chose to stay on board.
Elevation co-founder Fred Anderson has issued the following statement:
On behalf of Elevation Partners and as a personal friend, I want to express our extreme sorrow at the passing of Rajiv Dutta. Rajiv was a man of the highest integrity, intellect, compassion, and energy. Those of us who were lucky enough to know him embraced his beautiful spirit and his incredible enthusiasm for life. He was an inspiration to all of us at the firm and he will be missed. We want to extend our condolences to his wife Sumita and to his entire family.
There is no word yet on funeral or memorial service plans, but we will provide them if made publicly available.
UPDATE: A public memorial service will be held Friday, February 11. It is being hosted on the PayPal campus at 2211 North First St. in San Jose, as 3pm ET.