PayPal’s president is going to Facebook.
David Marcus, who helped modernize the aging payments company, is jumping ship to run Facebook’s messaging business, Recode and others are reporting.
“David is a widely respected leader in the technology industry with a track record of building great products and finding creative ways to turn them into great businesses,” Facebook wrote in a blog post this afternoon. The company noted that its users now send around 12 billion messages every day, and its standalone Messenger app has more than 200 million users every month.
Marcus served as PayPal’s mobile head when eBay acquired his mobile payment startup Zong in 2011, and he was quickly promoted to the head of PayPal in 2012. He pushed PayPal to dramatically accelerate its product development, which led to things like a revamped PayPal mobile app and simpler tools for developers to integrate the company’s technology.
Given Marcus’s mobile payment background, his appointment is a pretty big hint that Facebook is eyeing monetization opportunities around its robust messaging business. WhatsApp, the mobile messaging company that Facebook paid an astounding $19 billion for, has historically avoided ads, but there are certainly other ways Facebook can try to make money off of it.
In a blog post today, Marcus said that after three years at PayPal his role was becoming more managerial rather than “building products that hopefully matter to a lot of people.”
“Mark [Zuckerberg] shared a compelling vision about Mobile Messaging,” Marcus wrote, explaining his move to Facebook. “At first, I didn’t know whether another big company gig was a good thing for me, but Mark’s enthusiasm, and the unparalleled reach and consumer engagement of the Facebook platform ultimately won me over.”