Tags: EBay | PayPal | Facebook | Messaging

Head of EBay's PayPal Leaves to Lead Facebook Messaging

Monday, 09 June 2014 05:58 PM

Facebook Inc. hired EBay Inc.’s PayPal president David Marcus to lead its mobile messaging business, as the social network seeks to gain an advantage in a fast-growing and competitive business.

Marcus is leaving PayPal on June 27, according to a statement from EBay. He will lead Facebook’s Messenger application and other mobile messaging efforts, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Javier Olivan, who is in charge of growth at the social network, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

Marcus’s responsibilities won’t include the messaging startup WhatsApp Inc., which Facebook said in February it would acquire for $19 billion and which will continue to run independently, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

The hire is a major Silicon Valley executive defection and underscores how Facebook is bolstering its portfolio of products by landing a key new recruit. Apart from agreeing to acquire WhatsApp, Facebook has said it will buy virtual-reality goggles maker Oculus VR Inc. and it has diversified into photo sharing with startup Instagram. The company has also been releasing its own standalone apps, including Facebook Paper, a magazine-like Facebook experience on mobile phones and tablets.

Messaging is a particularly competitive area as more people use the applications to communicate on the go. Other companies including Rakuten Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. have also pushed into the industry to be on the front lines of how consumers communicate with one another on their mobile devices.

Key Messaging

“Messaging is a core part of Facebook’s service and key to achieving our mission of making the world more open and connected,” Facebook said in a statement. The Menlo Park, California-based company said 12 billion messages are sent every day on its social network and that its Messenger app is used by more than 200 million people every month.

Marcus’s departure from EBay follows his work building up PayPal’s payments business into one with more than 148 million active accounts, which processed $180 billion in payment volume last year. PayPal was recently targeted by activist investor Carl Icahn, who agitated for the San Jose, California-based Web company to spin off the payments business. Icahn and EBay settled the proxy fight in April.

EBay CEO John Donahoe said in a statement that he wished Marcus well. He didn’t name a replacement for Marcus at PayPal.

“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,” Donahoe said in a statement.

Amanda Miller, a spokeswoman for EBay, said Marcus’s departure wasn’t tied to the proxy fight with Icahn this year.

Toll Taken

Marcus, a native of France, joined PayPal after EBay acquired his mobile-payments startup, Zong, in 2011. He became PayPal president in 2012.

In an online post on Facebook, Marcus said he found it difficult to manage a large team at PayPal where he “suddenly found myself leading 14,000,” he wrote. “The first year took its toll on me. It was hard.”

Marcus wrote that Zuckerberg later talked to him about taking on the new role at Facebook.

“Mark shared a compelling vision about Mobile Messaging,” said Marcus in his post. “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.”

Marcus earned $6.04 million at EBay in 2013, including salary, stock and option awards and other incentive pay, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Facebook Inc. hired EBay Inc.'s PayPal president David Marcus to lead its mobile messaging business, as the social network seeks to gain an advantage in a fast-growing and competitive business.
EBay, PayPal, Facebook, Messaging
Monday, 09 June 2014 05:58 PM
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