PayPal President Leaves To Head Messaging At Facebook

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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David Marcus will be overseeing the development of Facebook’s messaging products

PayPal president David Markus will be leaving the digital payments company to oversee the development of messaging products at Facebook.

According to his own Facebook post, Markus, who led the eBay subsidiary for the past two years, had a change of heart after meeting Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“Mark’s enthusiasm, and the unparalleled reach and consumer engagement of the Facebook platform ultimately won me over,” wrote Markus. “I’m excited to go to Facebook to lead Messaging Products. And I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty again attempting to build something new and meaningful at scale.”

A change of allegiance

Under Markus, PayPal launched serious rebranding efforts and a major push into the mobile payments market. But after three years at the company, the director wanted to get involved in building a new business, and admitted he was considering his options for a while. That’s when Zuckerberg convinced him to join Facebook.

Facebook Messenger LogoMarkus will leave the company at the end of June, and eBay president John Donahoe will take over his responsibilities until a suitable replacement is found. Donahoe said the change will not impact PayPal’s financial results for 2015, but the news caused eBay shares to fall around two percent in trading after hours.

Next month, Markus will become the vice president of messaging products at Facebook, a role created specifically for him.

“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,” said Facebook in a blog post.

“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 will be leading these efforts.”

Mobile Messaging is a hotly contested market, with a number of start-ups including Viber, Snapchat and BBM competing with Facebook and traditional mobile operators. The world’s largest social network recently agreed to buy one of its competitors, WhatsApp, for $19 billion (£11.4bn).

However, Facebook also continues the development of its own mobile messaging application – in April, it removed the ability to send instant messages through the main Facebook app, prompting users to install Facebook Messenger for these purposes.

Markus will not get involved with WhatsApp, which will remain a separate business unit.

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