PayPal appoints Intuit CEO Alex Chriss, to replace Schulman

(Bloomberg) — PayPal Holdings Inc. Alex Kress CEO, leveraging a longtime fintech executive with a focus on small businesses to lead the beleaguered payments giant.

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Chris, who led the QuickBooks business for Intuit Inc. , in the new position on Sept. 27, according to a statement released Monday. He replaces Dan Shulman, who will remain as director.

Chris, 46, is taking the reins of a once-pandemic darling, as activity on its platforms swelled when consumers were stuck at home and turned to online shopping in droves. Right now, though, it’s dealing with slowing growth and a downturn in the stock.

“Mr. Chris will inherit an oppositional but not unsolvable story,” Dan Dolev, an analyst at Mizuho Securities USA, said in a note to clients.

PayPal said earlier this year that Schulman, 65, would retire in the coming months. He will remain on the board until the next annual shareholder meeting in May.

With Chriss, PayPal’s board of directors turns into a CEO with a history of closing deals and focused on providing technology to small businesses. He led Intuit’s $12 billion acquisition of email marketing company Mailchimp in 2021, a move that has boosted Intuit’s offering to businesses looking for ways to reach and serve customers online.

“Throughout my career, I have advocated for small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs,” Chris said in the statement. “I am proud to take the lead from Dan and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the talented and committed PayPal team.”

Administration churns out

PayPal was up 2%, at $62.78, at 10:42 a.m. in New York. The company’s stock peaked at $308.53 in July 2021, giving it a market capitalization of more than $360 billion. It is now valued at less than $70 billion.

Read more: PayPal Hunts Next CEO With $279 Billion In Its Stock

Since 2021, the company has been dealing with a host of high-profile departures, including then CFO John Rennie. Jim Magats, who oversaw PayPal’s omnichannel solutions division, and Daryl Esch, who led the Venmo unit, both left in 2022.

Last week, the company announced that Jonathan Auerbach, who was most recently chief strategy, growth and data officer, will be leaving the company next year.

Now, with Schulman’s move, it will mean that all but one of the top executives who presented at the company’s Investor Day in 2021 have decided to leave the company. The only CEO left from that presentation is Peggy Alford, Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Merchant Services and he was seen as a potential candidate to replace Schulman.

Chris’ appointment caps a months-long search by the PayPal board of directors to replace Schulman, who had been leading a massive cost-cutting effort ahead of the arrival of a new CEO. The company said in January it would lay off 2,000 employees as part of that pay.

In recent quarters, Schulman has sought to refocus PayPal on its core payments experience after a failed payment to become the world’s next “super app.” For years, Schulman espoused goals of adding hundreds of millions of users, though he’s since reined in those ambitions in favor of focusing solely on encouraging existing users to use PayPal more often.

Read more: PayPal Blown by ‘Bad Actors’, Closes 4.5 Million Accounts

However, the company continues to work in new forms of payments. This month, it said it was launching a stablecoin, a first by a major financial firm that would likely be a huge boost to the slow adoption of digital tokens for payments.

PayPal is also investing in unbranded payments technology, though that has worried some shareholders who fear PayPal’s branded payment options could lose share to new competitors like Apple Inc.’s mobile wallet. An unbranded business is also less profitable than a branded option.

PayPal Chairman John Donahue said in a statement.

(Adds the Chair’s comment in the last paragraph.)

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