The head of the crypto efforts of Facebook’s parent firm Meta, David Marcus made an announcement on Tuesday that he would be departing from the company at the end of the year. His departure comes after the firm tried and failed to introduce a cryptocurrency aimed at sending money online to global users through Facebook products. Marcus had become a part of Meta, the company that was previously named Facebook, back in August of 2014. Before that, he had worked at PayPal as its president for two years. Initially, Marcus had taken the position of vice president who was in charge of the Messenger service of the company.
However, in May 2018, he had left the Messenger division of the company and moved onto launching the financial projects unit for Facebook. The Libra blockchain currency was announced by the division in June 2019, along with the Calibra digital wallet. The division had said that they were hoping to launch both projects in 2020. However, the social media giant had to deal with stiff backlash from regulators and lawmakers all over the globe for its crypto ambitions due to which neither of these projects were able to see the light of day in 2020.
The company had renamed its digital wallet product Novi and finally released it in October of this year. But, they still haven’t released their digital currency, which has now been renamed as Diem and an independent association is now running it. In a tweet thread that announced his departure, Marcus said that even though there was a lot to be done after launching Novi and he still had the same passion for bringing a change in the payments and financial system, he could no longer ignore his entrepreneurial DNA that has been nudging him a lot these days.
Marcus is not the only one who has left Facebook after working on its ill-fated efforts in regard to the blockchain industry, as there are a number of other executives who have done the same before him. Morgan Beller, a fellow project founder, had also abandoned ship in September 2020 and had moved into venture capital. Another one of the founders of the project, Kevin Weil had departed in March and joined a company based in San Francisco called Planet, which owns a fleet of satellites that take pictures of the earth every day for providing people with imagery highlighting the changes of the earth.
Commenting on Marcus’s Facebook profile, the chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said that he was grateful to Marcus because if it wasn’t for his leadership, they couldn’t have taken such a big swing at Diem. He said that Marcus had made Meta a place for making big bets. Marcus will be replaced by executive Stephanie Kasriel, who will now head the Novi financial products division of the company, as he mentioned in his departure note. Marcus said that he couldn’t wait to look at it from the outside because there was a lot of greatness in the future.