David Marcus bails on Paypal (and Southland). Here's his leaked departure memo

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on June 9, 2014

From The News Desk

Remember last month when I commended PayPal's David Marcus for his professionalism in the handling of Rocky Agrawal's abrupt departure from the company?


Turns out Marcus isn't quite so slick when it comes to his own sudden resignation. Just a short while ago, he announced to colleagues that he'll be soon be moving to Facebook to run their messaging products division (I have the resignation letter, below). Up until that announcement, Marcus was due to appear on stage at our Southland conference, starting tonight in Nashville, to discuss his role in leading PayPal. Obviously now that's not happening.

What is happening is Sarah Lacy interviewing Braintree's Bill Ready who, well-placed sources tell us, is a leading internal choice to replace Marcus. You can be sure she'll be asking Ready to confirm that on stage tomorrow morning. (The fact that there seems to be no current succession plan shows how surprising this move was, even within PayPal).

If you don't want to miss that interview, and anything else from on stage and backstage, make sure you're signed up to access our members-only livestream. The conference kicks off in a couple of hours with Sarah's interview with Christy Turlington Burns.

We'll have more on Marcus' departure soon. In the meantime, here's a leaked copy of his departure letter to colleagues:


From: <'Marcus>, David'

Reply-To: "Marcus, David" <[email protected]>

Date: Monday, June 9, 2014 1:38 PM

Subject: Thank You, PayPals

PayPals – In the summer of 2011, I left everything I knew as an entrepreneur and joined PayPal with the acquisition of my company, Zong. Back then I had no idea I would end up leading PayPal a little over 7 months later. I was honored that John Donahoe would give me the opportunity and I accepted because by then I had fallen in love with the company, with you, and with the promise ahead. And wow! What a ride since then.

We achieved many great things together in the last 2 years, and made an already great business better. We reinvigorated product design and innovation and banded together to do the things necessary to deliver a better experience for our customers. Our numbers in Q1 2014 and the momentum we have across the business show that we did the right thing. This is the part I’m most proud of. With great collective effort, we’ve turned the ship in the right direction.

That’s why now is the right time for me to move on, and to get back to leading a smaller product team over at Facebook.  It’s time for me step back and let you, the 14,000 PayPals, run what you’ve built.

These 3 years at PayPal will remain one of the best experiences of my professional life. I’ve made lifelong friends here, and we had an epic ride together. I remain deeply in love with PayPal, and I just can't wait to see all of these great experiences we've built together delight customers around the world in the months and years to come.

I know that you will continue to execute and compete fiercely, step up your game every day, and iterate on products and experiences until you hit gold, again and again. I want to thank all my brothers and sisters in arms for what will remain the most amazing experience of my career. I’m going to miss you all so much, but I know you’re the right team to take PayPal to the next level.

Onward, PayPals.