(Adds analyst comment)
By Deepa Seetharaman and Alexei Oreskovic
SAN FRANCISCO, June 9 David Marcus, who has led
eBay Inc's fast-growing payments unit PayPal for the
past two years, will step down this month to run Facebook Inc's
messaging products, the companies announced on Monday.
EBay shares fell a little more than 2 percent in trading
after hours. Under Marcus, PayPal has moved more aggressively
into the physical world by developing a mobile wallet for
consumers as well as point-of-sale systems for retailers.
The move marks Facebook's latest effort to bolster its
private messaging features as it faces competition from a new
crop of popular mobile messaging services such as Snapchat and
Line. In February, Facebook stunned observers by announcing
plans to acquire messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion.
In the newly created role of vice president of messaging
products, Marcus will oversee the Messenger service within
Facebook's social network as well as the free Messenger mobile
app, but not WhatsApp, said Facebook spokeswoman Vanessa Chan.
Roughly 12 billion messages are sent every day on Facebook,
and the Messenger app has more than 200 million users, according
to the company.
The move could also signal Facebook's interest in
transforming its messaging service into a platform for
transactions, such as buying concert tickets or making
restaurant reservations, said Brian Blau, an analyst with
industry research firm Gartner.
"Clearly with a background in e-commerce and payments, it's
natural to think that he's going to bring a lot of that to
Facebook, presumably around messaging," said Blau.
While Facebook has struggled to make e-commerce a popular
activity on its core social networking website, messaging
services are increasingly adding transactional capabilities.
WeChat, the mobile messaging service owned by China's Tencent
Holdings, began letting users book taxis through the service
earlier this year. Google Inc's Gmail
introduced a feature last year that lets users transfer money to
"I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty again
attempting to build something new and meaningful at scale,"
Marcus said in a post on his LinkedIn page on Monday. Marcus
said that he decided to join Facebook after Chief Executive
Officer Mark Zuckerberg "shared a compelling vision about mobile
The move comes as PayPal, which has 148 million active
users, faces tougher global competition from Amazon.com Inc,
which launched a recurring payments program earlier on Monday,
as well as Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd
IPO-ALIB.N, which is going public later this year.
In a blog post, eBay Chief Executive John Donahoe said
Marcus was leaving behind a strong leadership team and PayPal
was on track to meet its outlook for 2015.
(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Marguerita Choy and