David Marcus, PayPal president joins Facebook, he is leaving on June 27th to head the social networking giant’s messaging products division, a standalone app which is featured within Facebook’s desktop platform. Until somebody is found to take his place, PayPal executives will report directly to eBay’s president John Donahoe.
According to a Facebook spokeswoman, Mr. Marcus will not oversee WhatsApp, the mobile-messaging app that Facebook agreed to acquire for $19 billion in February 2014. He will report to Facebook’s CEO Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, and the company’s vice-president for growth and analytics Javier Olivan, who has been in charge of messaging.
PayPal, which currently has 148 million active accounts, became a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay in 2002. In 2013, 41% of eBay’s revenue came from PayPal.
Mr. Marcus, who had been CEO (and founder) of mobile payments company Zong, joined PayPal in April 2012 after his company was acquired in August 2011. Scott Thompson, who Mr. Marcus replaced, left PayPal to join Yahoo.
Mr. Marcus is credited with expanding PayPal into mobile payments. He says he is leaving the company with a “strong leadership team in place.”
Facebook has its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. It employs 6,818 people and reported net income of $1.5 billion in 2013.
Closer to what I love to do”
In a Facebook posting, Mr. Marcus wrote:
“After much deliberation, I decided now is the right time for me to move on to something that is closer to what I love to do every day. Now is the time, because I feel that PayPal has never been in a better position to capitalize on its unique place in the market. Now is the time, because the product pipeline is strong, and these new experiences are scaling out.”
“Now is the time, because PayPal’s reputation with developers is getting better by the day, because Braintree’s acquisition will truly enable PayPal to win in that space. Now is the time, because the leadership team is strong, and talent is flowing into the company again. In summary, now is time because PayPal is on track to achieve the greatness it deserves in the years to come.”
Knows how to monetize new products
In a press release, Facebook describes Mr. Marcus as a respected leader in the technology industry, somebody who has built great products and found creative ways to monetize them. Apparently, at 8 years of age he taught himself to write code and set up his first startup when he was twenty three.
“Messaging is a core part of Facebook’s service and key to achieving our mission of making the world more open and connected. Every day around 12 billion messages are sent on Facebook, and in April we announced that Messenger, our standalone messaging app, is now used by more than 200 million people every month.”
“We’re excited by the potential to continue developing great new messaging experiences that better serve the Facebook community and reach even more people, and David (Marcus) will be leading these efforts.”
“We are incredibly excited to work together with David and to learn from all his experience, and David will be sharing more about his work in the coming months. Welcome aboard!”
Including payments in Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is on the verge of a huge change and the introduction of a range of new products. Mr. Marcus is leaving PayPal where he is a big fish, and joining Facebook with a much smaller role. Why else would he agree to this career move this if it were not for his love of building things?
In an article in Forbes today, Steven Bertoni predicts that Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants Marcus to weave payments directly into Facebook Messenger, both as a peer-to-peer product and as a platform-wide currency, like Venmo.
Facebook had once said that when its standalone apps reached at least 100 million users it would start monetizing them. Messenger currently has 200 million and WhatsApp 500 million users, making them both super-eligible.
According to the Financial Times, in April 2014 Facebook applied for an e-money license in Ireland so that it could manage peer-to-peer money transfers within Europe.
In a PayPal blog, David Donahue, President and Chief Executive Officer, eBay Inc., wrote:
“David Marcus is leaving PayPal at the end of June to lead Facebook’s messaging products. We wish David well and thank him for his leadership and commitment to PayPal.”
“As the head of PayPal for the past two years, David reinvigorated product design to deliver compelling consumer experiences and energized the team to make a great business better.”
“An entrepreneur at heart, David has made a career decision to focus on what he loves most – leading smaller teams to create great product experiences.”