The word innovation gets thrown around a lot by tech companies, and sometimes it seems decisions are made just for the sake of innovation rather than to pursue realistic opportunities. But PayPal’s Chief Operating Officer Bill Ready lent a steady hand that helped guide the company’s product development and acquisitions. On Thursday, PayPal announced Ready will be leaving the company at the end of the year.
It’s not for the oft-cited reason of wanting to spend more time with family. Instead, PayPal said Ready will pursue entrepreneurial interests outside the company.
Ready joined PayPal in 2013 after its then parent company eBay acquired his company Braintree. Ready reported to David Marcus, who was PayPal’s president at the time. Marcus left for Facebook the following year, and this week he was revealed to have co-created Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.
It’s unknown whether Ready has been inspired by the current cryptocurrency craze. In PayPal’s announcement, Ready provided no specifics:
“Since joining PayPal six years ago, I have had the privilege of working alongside many incredibly talented people, and I am proud of what we as a leadership team have accomplished together. The transformative work we are doing has positioned PayPal for success well into the future. I am excited for PayPal’s future and committed to using the coming months to ensure a smooth transition, and support the great team we have at PayPal.”
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman had nothing but praise for his colleague:
“Bill will always be an important part of the PayPal story. The Board and management team are grateful for his many contributions and for the customer focus, product excellence and culture of innovation he has helped to instill over the past six years. Bill will continue to work with key partners and our leadership team until the end of the year. I appreciate his commitment to PayPal and its future.”
Missing from the announcement was an indication of how PayPal planned to fill the gap Ready’s departure will leave, but it looks like they’ll have 6 months to figure it out. (See update below.)
Update 6/21/19: A PayPal spokesperson provided us with the following statement: “We have put in place a new structure that reflects our focus on our expanding platform of services and solutions. Under the new structure, we don’t have current plans to replace the COO position.”