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EBay taps mobile payments innovator David Marcus for PayPal president

EBay's choice reflects its aggressive push to dominate the mobile payments market

EBay has tapped David Marcus to replace Scott Thompson as president of PayPal effective April 2, the company announced Thursday.

Thompson left the company to become CEO of Yahoo in January. Marcus joined PayPal in August 2011, when the company acquired Zong, the mobile payments provider Marcus founded. Marcus most recently served as PayPal's vice president of mobile.

Marcus' promotion underscores PayPal's current focus on expanding its mobile payments offerings. Earlier this month, Marcus announced the company's launch of PayPal Here, an app that supports traditional PayPal payments and features a credit card reader that plugs into a smartphone to allow small businesses to accept credit and debit cards. With its own apps and others that support its payment system, PayPal expects to process US$7 billion in mobile payments this year.

"The future of commerce is mobile, and given its recent activity PayPal clearly intends to be an integral part of our future commerce experience at physical and digital points of sale," analyst Denée Carrington, with Forrester Research, said in an email. 

"Marcus's appointment signals the importance that mobile payments will play in PayPal’s growth strategy. I believe we will see more from PayPal this year in the mobile wallet space," Carrington wrote.

Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, also saw the choice of leadership as reflecting business strategy. Marcus "is in the growth end of PayPal, and PayPal has been eBay's best property," he said. As an internal promotion, Marcus "is tuned up to the fastest-growing segment of the business."

Cameron Scott covers search, web services and privacy for The IDG News Service. Follow Cameron on Twitter at CScott_IDG.


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