David Marcus leaving Square to take big role in acquisitions

Meta / Square

David Marcus is leaving the Meta Corporation, the digital wallet startup he built, to take a position in Square’s corporate development department, the company announced Friday. Meta/Square, which both provide payments processing services to financial institutions like banks and small businesses, announced on Friday that it had merged with Jack Dorsey’s Square earlier this month.

Marcus will take a ten-month non-executive role in Square’s corporate development team, which “will make investments to create a long-term, profitable future for Square and will assist in scaling Square’s businesses globally,” the company said in a statement.

Marcus, who was the CEO of Meta/Square, rose to fame as the head of messaging service Facebook Messenger. He left the company last March, where he helped develop WhatsApp, Facebook’s hugely popular messaging app that launched in 2009.

Marcus developed a reputation for taking bold bets, turning ideas around and making difficult calls, sometimes without any commitment from his funders. One of the most notable is Square’s pivot from selling credit cards in restaurants to selling the cash register itself, as well as the much smaller card reader hardware. That was possible because Marcus convinced developers to make their products compatible with Square and leveraged his relationships with thousands of restaurant owners around the world. Square launched the signature “swipe and pay” card reader in 2009.

“I will use my years of business development experience to advise the strategic priorities of the company as it focuses on its mission to create a new way for people to sell and spend and to help local businesses thrive,” Marcus said in a statement.

Until his departure, Marcus remained one of the most outspoken critics of Visa Inc’s (V) plans to acquire rival payments processor PayPal (PYPL) , which was acquired by Visa last August for $13.2 billion. Although he left Facebook Messenger in August 2017, the decision seemed to push him to redouble his efforts as CEO of Square.

In January, Marcus confirmed he still owns 10.8 million shares of Facebook stock, an amount that would have netted him more than $5 billion if the company were to sell the stock at its market peak.

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