With all the attention eBay received this week about its plans to breakup eBay and PayPal, the announcement on Tuesday that it had finally named a replacement to former PayPal president David Marcus may have been overlooked.
eBay named Dan Schulman the new president of PayPal, effective September 30. The 56-year-old joins the company from American Express where he was President of the Enterprise Growth Group.
A major glitch greeted the new president on his second day – when sellers received notices of payments from buyers on eBay, Etsy and other venues, no money showed up in their PayPal accounts – even for transfers from one PayPal account to another.
While Schulman may not be able to do much immediately to prevent such technical issues, he may want to look at how the company communicated (or failed to communicate) with sellers who said they wasted time contacting PayPal customer service about the problem because there was no notice posted.
But clearly eBay hired Schulman to focus on business development. He led American Express’ global strategy to expand its alternative mobile and online payment services, and eBay said in its announcement, “his focus on driving customer adoption of digital payments and mobile technology is ideal for the future of PayPal as it navigates a rapidly evolving industry landscape and focuses on engaging consumers, partnering with merchants and innovating in mobile payments.”
Nevertheless, Schulman will clearly have to make time to take care of bread-and-butter issues, such as making sure payments are delivered safely into customers’ accounts in a timely fashion.
Once eBay and PayPal breakup next year, Schulman will become CEO of PayPal.
Interestingly eBay CEO John Donahoe told Wall Street analysts on Tuesday he would not have been able to attract a candidate of Schulman’s caliber had it not been for the planned breakup of eBay and PayPal.
“I don’t think we would have gotten Dan if it weren’t for having a CEO opportunity,” said Donahoe. “He’s just the right guy at the right time.”