Yesterday David Marcus, the main driving force behind the creation of Meta’s Diem (formerly Libra), announced that he’s leaving the company at the end of the year after seven years. The news comes shortly after Meta’s wallet Novi launched with the Paxos stablecoin instead of Diem, owing to regulatory pushback. Stephane Kasriel, the former CEO at Upwork, is the new head of Novi, which now encompasses all of Meta’s fintech activities.
In the tweet announcing his departure, Marcus said, “my entrepreneurial DNA has been nudging me for too many mornings in a row”. According to Bloomberg, he will share more details in a blog post later today.
So the question is, what’s next? He mentioned looking forward to more free time in the next few months before building something new. That may be a nod to gardening leave. It’s hard to think his next role would involve anything other than the blockchain world.
It’s quite a coincidence that another Bitcoin fan, Jack Dorsey, stepped down from Twitter yesterday. Given people regularly review positions at year’s end, it could just be timing. Or not.
Entrepreneurs like building things. And while Diem and Novi have offered that opportunity, a massive amount of Marcus’s time has been spent on regulatory-related matters, which tends to dampen enthusiasm. Marcus’s grueling Senate testimony in mid-2019 was just the start.
One assumption might be that he will stick with stablecoins. He has a relationship with Paxos through Novi and Circle through former colleague Dante Disparte.
However, his resume may or may not offer some clues regarding next steps. Marcus moved to Facebook after a stint as President at PayPal. He joined PayPal following the acquisition of his startup Zong, a mobile payments firm targeting social networks and games. Its clients included Facebook, IMVU (the 3D chat app that has a crypto token), Ubisoft and Sony Online Entertainment. Right now, games are one of the hottest sectors in the crypto world.
Watch this space for updates.