Mobile

PayPal president David Marcus heads to Facebook to focus on messaging

Above: PayPal president, David Marcus

Image Credit: Robert Scoble/Flickr
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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.”

More about the companies and people from this article:

PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid online. The service allows members to send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts, credit cards or promot... read more »

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »

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10 comments
Fabio Lalli
Fabio Lalli

Mmm... Messaging... I think about the real focus is in payment, the next real business model of Facebook

Paul Mohme
Paul Mohme

Isn't this the same guy who publicly berated his employees to use PayPal products?

Neal Weingarden
Neal Weingarden

From one of the most hated internet companies we all use to another!

Mike Templeman
Mike Templeman

I can't imagine this had nothing to do with his email back at the beginning of the year.