Frank Fountain was born in 1944 in Brewton, Alabama. He grew up on a sharecropper farm in the segregated South and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Bengal, India, prior to attending business school. In 1973, after receiving his MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business, he joined the Chrysler Corporation as an investment analyst.
After struggling to establish a standalone presence in China, eBay announced on December 20, 2006, that it will set up a joint venture with politically well-connected Tom Online, a wireless Internet company with value-added multimedia services in China. Despite eBay's attempts to put a positive spin on the report, most analysts view eBay's deal with Tom Online as yet another failure of a foreign Internet company coming to China and losing ground to local rivals.