29 Jul 2019

It’s never too late to succeed: How this 60-year-old founder took her business from zero to $500 million in 6 years


One terrible day in November 2000, Julie Wainwright’s husband asked her for a divorce. That same day, Wainwright, then the CEO of, determined she would have to shut down the company. She had led the e-commerce business through its meteoric rise and IPO, and now it was crashing.

“It failed, and I became sort of a pariah,” says Wainwright, speaking at the Vanity Fair Founders Fair in New York City. “I was the dumbest person in the Valley. It was a little tough.”