Just before eBay selected David Marcus to run PayPal in 2012, it named a number of executives who could have been prospects for the role. Now, as Marcus leaves to take a job at Facebook, some of these other executives may be in line to fill his shoes but PayPal may also seek out new talent.
EBay president and CEO John Donahoe will be interim president of PayPal, as he was in 2012 after Marcus' predecessor, Scott Thompson, left to be CEO of Yahoo Inc. After Thompson's departure, Donahoe spotlighted several PayPal executives who he considered strong members of its management team. Though Donahoe stopped short of calling them potential successors to Thompson, the job went to Marcus, who was on the short list of names.
PayPal is not revealing details on its plans for Marcus' successor at this time, says Anuj Nayar, a spokesman for the San Jose company.
Though eBay boasts of the talent it has within its ranks, it has not been shy about adding people from other companies in recent years. Even though Marcus was an internal candidate, he joined PayPal only a year earlier through its purchase of his startup, Zong.
Other executives named in 2012 include Ranjana Clark, Rupert Keeley, Don Kingsborough, Ed Eger, Gary Marino and Sam Shrauger. Not all of them remain with the company. Clark, who was PayPal's chief customer and marketing officer, has since joined Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group's Union Bank; Eger, who was general manager of North America for core payments and emerging markets, is now president and CEO of OANDA Corp.; and Shrauger, who was vice president of global product and experience, now works at Visa.
It would be natural to add Bill Ready to the list of prospects. Ready headed Braintree, a payment technology company PayPal bought last year for $800 million. Before joining Braintree in 2011, Ready was president of iPay Technologies and was an executive with Accel Partners, a venture capital and growth equity firm in the Silicon Valley.
However, Ready may be too similar to Marcus to be the natural choice, says Eric Grover, payments industry consultant at Minden, Nev.-based Intrepid Ventures.
"Braintree was a great story and great valuation and a great buyout, but the flip side is that PayPal is no longer a small Silicon Valley startup," Grover says. "You don't want some bureaucratic bank-processing guy or gal, but probably don't want to swing for the fences with an early-stage Silicon Valley payments type guy either."
Initially, PayPal is likely to seek a high-profile executive from another company, says Gil Luria, analyst with Los Angeles-based Wedbush Securities.
PayPal is a $40 billion business with more than $8 billion in revenue annually, making it critical to land an experienced executive who can keep moving the company forward, Luria says.
"David Marcus was kind of an unusual pick last time because he was an entrepreneur who managed 300 people, and a short time later they asked him to manage an organization with 1,400 people," Luria says. "That's probably why his tenure ended up being so short. It may have been too big of a leap, too fast."
An executive with payments experience and "seasoned with a lot of product management," would best serve PayPal, Luria says.
Even if PayPal looks internally, it can choose an executive who has had a longer term at the company.
Marino, who serves as senior vice president of global financial services and the Americas, comes from a credit card and digital payments background, having co-founded Bill Me Later.
Marino joined PayPal in 2008 when it purchased Bill Me Later in a deal worth nearly $1 billion. Prior to that, Marino was a chief credit officer and marketing officer at Bank One, now part of JPMorgan Chase. He also had executive positions in Citibank's bankcard division.
Kingsborough, vice president of global retail, joined PayPal in February of 2011after serving for a decade as CEO of Blackhawk Network, giving him experience in the gift card market as well as consumer products and retail sales. He was previously CEO at Worlds of Wonder (where he created the talking Teddy Ruxpin toy) and was president of Atari in the early 1980s. At PayPal, Kingsborough oversees global strategic development, establishing relationships with retailers for PayPal payments.
Keeley, one of the executives named in 2012, remains with PayPal as senior vice president in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
PayPal's top ranks also include chief financial officer Patrick Dupuis, chief technology officer James Barrese, chief risk officer Tomer Barel and senior vice president of human resources Dianne Mills.
Others key executives are John McCabe, senior vice president of worldwide operations; Hill Ferguson, chief product officer; Stan Chudnovsky, vice president of growth, global strategy and special ops; Christina Smedley, vice president global brands and communications; John D. Muller, general counsel and vice president of legal; and Rohan Mahadevan, vice president in Asia.
Whomever PayPal picks, it will likely decide soon, Grover says.
"They don't want to leave it open too long," Grover says. "With the pace of change and where they are engaged, they have to be leaning forward."