PayPal President David Marcus quits for Facebook

David MarcusDavid Marcus is quitting PayPal to go head up Facebook’s messaging division.

The official blurb from eBay CEO John Donahoe says “We wish David well and thank him for his leadership and commitment to PayPal. As the head of PayPal for the past two years, David reinvigorated product design to deliver compelling consumer experiences and energized the team to make a great business better. 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“.

David was acquired by eBay when they bought his former company Zong in 2011 and become head of PayPal in 2012. He’s one of the new breed of eBay Inc leaders who shook things up, even going so far as to tell employees that if they couldn’t remember their PayPal password or hadn’t installed the PayPal app they should go get a job somewhere else.

His decision to lead a “smaller team” is somewhat confusing, Facebook is a behemoth with over 6,000 employees (PayPal has over 10,000) and whilst leading the messaging products team is likely to involve considerably less employees, the company culture will still be very different to his start up Zong.

It’s also a massive loss to PayPal – for too many years it grew to have a typical corporate structure, but David re-energised the company with a slew of new innovative products during his tenure such as PayPal Here chip and pin card reader and PayPal Check In as well as a culture more akin to a start up.

We wish David luck in his new position, but he leaves very big shoes behind to fill. It’ll now be down to John Donohoe to find someone who can carry forward the culture of innovation that David started and ensure that PayPal won’t return to the stifled conglomerate it had become.