Denise Leleux: Changing the world one customer at a time
As eBay’s vice president of customer service for North America and Europe since February 2012, Denise Leleux leads an international team that provides a voice for millions of buyers and sellers. “What inspired me to join eBay was the vision that we have about changing the world,” she says. “It was a great fit for my background, and certainly my personality. I’m naturally a people person; I feed off of working and being with people.”
The youngest of six children, Leleux grew up in New Orleans and attended Louisiana State University until her junior year. She developed an interest in financial services while completing her undergraduate degree at Western State Colorado University. Her career has since taken her to San Francisco, New York, London and most recently, Richmond, Virginia.
She now resides in Park City with her husband and 9-year-old son, where the family enjoys being outdoors and the healthy lifestyle that comes with living out West. “eBay brought me to Utah,” she says. “Utah keeps me here! It’s a wonderful place to raise a family, it’s a wonderful community—kind of a great little secret… I have a very generous and rewarding career, but also I have a wonderful family. I’m very fortunate to have a husband that has sacrificed so much for my career.”
Leleux was encouraged to seek her current position by Steve Boehm, senior vice president of customer service at eBay. They had worked together at First Data, where she made an impression with her interpersonal skills and high-powered résumé that includes stints at Visa, Capital One and Barclays, handling marketing, products and relationship management, among other duties.
“She has a very large job now, probably one of the largest in the whole company,” Boehm says. “Under her direct or indirect responsibility are around 6,000 people that interact with eBay customers over 40 million times per year. She becomes the tip of the spear of providing input back into the company and to our business partners.”
Leleux is passionate about her job. “I love peer-to-peer commerce and the empowerment that it creates for both the buyer and seller,” she says. “eBay was the first company to provide a global platform for you and me to interact and trade with someone next door, or around the world. Before there was Uber or AirBnB, there was eBay.”
In her position, Leleux advocates that diversity and inclusion are crucial to the success of a company. “Our buyers and sellers are all very unique and very different, so we try to mirror that internally,” she says. “One person’s perspective is complemented by another’s and helps us see the whole picture.”
Looking ahead 10 years, Leleux hopes to still be in Utah and with eBay. Still, the winding path her career has taken has led her to keep an open mind. “If history is any judge, I might have to reinvent my career one more time. Doing that within an organization that I know and love would be great,” she says. “I don’t know exactly where my career or my life will take me, but I’m excited to find out, and to grow and learn.”