PayPal’s mobile payments chief joins Facebook

11 Jun 2014

David Marcus, Facebook's new vice-president, Messaging Products

E-payments giant PayPal’s head of mobile payments, David Marcus, has decided to try his hand at social media and has agreed to join Facebook as its vice-president, Messaging Products.

The decision to appoint Marcus is considered a sign Facebook wishes to improve its messaging service and, according to Facebook’s official statement, Marcus has a “track record of building great products and finding creative ways to turn them into great businesses”.

Learning code at the age of eight and establishing his first start-up at the age of 23, Marcus is considered one of the highest-acclaimed people working in Silicon Valley.

Facebook’s messaging service has been undergoing major developments in recent months, for instance, the messaging function has been removed from both the standard Facebook apps on iOS and Android, and users have had to download a separate dedicated app for messaging.

And yet it still remains one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, only surpassed by WhatsApp, with an estimated 12bn messages sent between Facebook’s 1bn-plus users each day.

Marcus, who had been with PayPal since 2011, posted a message on his LinkedIn page describing his reasons for moving into social media.

“At first, I didn’t know whether another big company gig was a good thing for me, but Mark’s [Zuckerberg] enthusiasm, and the unparallelled reach and consumer engagement of the Facebook platform ultimately won me over,” he wrote. “So … yes. 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.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic