Facebook Taps PayPal President to Run Messaging Business

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2014-06-09
Paypal president Facebook

Facebook is leaving no executive unturned in finding leaders for its new product lines.

PayPal President David Marcus revealed in messages on LinkedIn and Facebook June 9 that he is leaving executive management at the San Jose, Calif.-based online payment company to join Facebook, get back to product management and run its Messaging Products division.

Marcus had been with PayPal--which is owned by eBay--for three years after coming to the company with his previous startup, Zong, in 2011. He had been president for two years at the online payment service.

In recruiting execs such as Marcus to go with Oculus Rift's Palmer Luckey, WhatsApp kingpin Jan Koum and Instagram's Kevin Systrom [as the result of acquisitions], CEO Mark Zuckerberg is demonstrating that he is serious about building Facebook into a stronger player in other lines of business that trade in what he has called "private content."

Marcus primarily will be responsible for Messenger, a chat application that Facebook recently spun off as a separate service.

In the LinkedIn message, Marcus cited several reasons why he believes now is the right time to make a move.

"So 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," Marcus wrote. "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 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."

Marcus wrote that running a division of 14,000 employees took its toll on him and his family and wasn't really his goal when he founded Zong.

"I realized that my role was becoming a real management one, vs. my passion of building products that hopefully matter to a lot of people," Marcus wrote. "So 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."

Zong is a mobile payment company started in 2008 that allows users to make micropayments on the Internet if they have a postpaid mobile phone. The payments are charged to their mobile phone bills by the mobile operator. The company was acquired by eBay in 2011.

Marcus said Zuckerberg was the key factor in helping him make the move.

"Mark shared a compelling vision about Mobile Messaging. 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," he wrote.

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