Facebook payments is losing another executive just months after the company rebranded its payments unit to Novi. The co-creator of Facebook’s cryptocurrency initiative Tomer Barel is leaving the company in February.
The news comes three weeks after the head of Facebook’s Novi division David Marcus announced his departure from the company.
In late October, Marcus revealed that Facebook had processed over $100 billion in the last 12 months across its products. One month later in announcing his departure, he wrote, “While there’s still so much to do right on the heels of hitting an important milestone with Novi launching – and I remain as passionate as ever about the need for change in our payments and financial systems – my entrepreneurial DNA has been nudging me for too many mornings in a row to continue ignoring it.”
In 2019, when Facebook announced its Libra cryptocurrency initiative, many other companies were on board, including eBay and PayPal, but many of them soon backed out.
Like David Marcus, Tomer Barel said he was leaving Facebook with no set plans in mind. “As for what’s next for me – I don’t know yet,” he wrote in a post on LinkedIn. “The vines in the vineyard are growing slowly, the winery will soon start being built, but both will take time to bear fruit. More adventures may come along the way.”
Interestingly, Barel said he did not feel that he had accomplished the mission he had set out to do at Novi. He described the outside (not corporate) environment in which Facebook’s Novi had operated as “hostile,” saying he was appreciative of Facebook’s top leadership.
“I leave without being able to say to myself “mission accomplished”. We created amazing tech, a state of the art digital wallet, world class risk, compliance and care capabilities, brought them to life through the launch of the Novi wallet in beta mode, including on WhatsApp, and certainly made many people think and talk about the excluding nature of our financial system and the underlying favoritism. But the goal of making a real difference in the lives of 2 billion unbanked people is still to be reached. It remains a mission I care deeply about. I know the Novi team feels the same way.”
Marcus responded to Barel’s post, writing, “Tomer – thank you for being foolish enough to join me as a wingman on this incredible journey of ours. This adventure has brought us closer than ever and for that alone, it was all worth it! Of course for many other reasons too, including building a kickass team together. Incredibly grateful for everything.”