Louise Pentland

EVP, Chief Business Affairs and Legal Officer, PayPal

PayPal – we work to ensure that all people and all businesses have the ability to fully and fairly participate in the global economy.

I oversee the Legal, Human Resources, and Corporate Affairs functions at PayPal. In some ways my role is unique but across all the teams I manage, we’re working to help PayPal succeed. By partnering with the business – whether that’s identifying risks, finding the best people to be a part of our company or launching innovative programs to advance our reputation – we can continue to achieve our collective goals.

Every day I’m amazed by the passion and commitment of PayPal’s employees. But especially since the COVID pandemic began, I’ve been incredibly inspired by the support everyone has offered one another. We’ve all been faced with different circumstances and challenges yet there’s a real sense of unity and togetherness (even if we are physically apart) that’s been so important to navigate these difficult waters. Personally, I find that I’m able to connect with more people more often – both on my team and across the business – because I no longer have travel conflicts or time zones to consider. And since we’re all working from our homes, I’ve gotten to know many of my colleagues better (and their families, children and pets, too!). It’s opened up much more dialogue and communication throughout the business.

Not surprisingly, much of my time is spent in meetings – in part to strategize and advance our important work but I am also hyper-focused on my team and what they need to effectively do their jobs. In fact, I try to be more of a partner than a “boss”, and work to understand how I can help remove roadblocks or drive to solutions. I feel very fortunate that I have an incredibly capable team so I try to focus my energy on how best to create an environment where everyone can learn and thrive.

In my early years, I was on track to become a professional ballerina but ultimately decided to pursue law given the stability it would afford me. I’ve held a number of roles since but I’m most passionate about the pro-bono work I do for immigrant children. In fact, I helped build a Legal pro-bono program at PayPal because I believe everyone has a set of skills they should leverage to give back to their communities.

My hope is that my future is full of happiness and good health, which in turn will allow me to focus on the things I hold a great passion for – advocating for diversity and equality, and being a great role model for my daughter!

I spend as much time as I can with my family and especially my 8-year-old daughter. It’s been important that I set a positive example for her, and demonstrate that she can achieve anything she wants – if she puts in the work. During the pandemic, I’ve also picked up running and I’ve made it part of my every day routine. For me, it’s an important healthy habit but it also provides me with time to think, reflect and recharge.

“I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. “ - Ruth Bader Ginsburg