A PayPal executive has jumped shop to Facebook but, like almost all job changes, it’s not necessarily what it looks like. What might seem like an early exodus due to panic before the eBay/PayPal split planned for next year might be something much more innocuous.
The 44-year-old executive, Stan Chudnovsky, had been PayPal’s vice president of growth and global strategy. He will start at Facebook in February. But Chudnovsky was not a long-time PayPal person. He only joined PayPal last year and that was through an acquisition of his company, Iron Pearl.
Iron Pearl, which Chudnovsky co-founded, helped “websites attract and retain users. He was part of the team that helped plan the PayPal spinoff,” reported the Wall Street Journal. “Under Chudnovsky, PayPal added about 34 million active users and has continued to outpace eBay’s marketplace business in sales growth.”
Executives brought into companies through company acquisitions have a history of rarely lasting much more than a year, due to cultural disconnect. That may be one factor.
“Despite Chudnovsky’s year-and-a-half tenure at PayPal, he isn’t really a payments guy,” noted Re/Code. “He’s a growth guy who has worked on gaming and social media companies in the past, and knows how to attract new users and customers.”
Then there is the colleague dynamic. While at PayPal, Chudnovsky worked with then PayPal President David Marcus, who—six months ago—was brought to Facebook to oversee messaging products. Chudnovsky will handle product management for Messenger and will report directly to Marcus, Re/Code noted.
But whether this was a case of Marcus recruiting his former colleague is unclear. Said Re/Code: “While Marcus and Chudnovsky did work together for about a year at PayPal, a source familiar with the hire said Chudnovsky was actually originally recruited by CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Javier Olivan, Facebook’s VP of growth, to work on the growth team.”