PayPal is gaining a new CEO, the payments giant announced this morning. Effective September 27, 2023, senior Intuit executive Alex Chriss will become PayPal’s President and CEO, replacing current CEO Dan Schulman, members of PayPal’s board shared this morning in a press release.
The appointment was made after a months-long CEO search process focused on finding a new leader for who had experience with global payments, product and technology.
Like Schulman, Chriss was a long-serving member of his former employer, having joined Intuit 19 years ago, then growing his responsibilities over time. Since January 2019, he served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Intuit’s Small Business and Self-Employed Group, responsible for more than half of Intuit’s revenue. He’s overseen a global organization with thousands of employees tasked with delivering products like QuickBooks and Mailchimp to thousands of customers.
In his most recent leadership role, he grew its customers and revenues at a compound annual growth rate of 20% and 23%, respectively, the board’s announcement states. He also led Intuit’s $12 billion acquisition of Mailchimp in 2021.
Chriss has the unanimous support of PayPal’s board and its CEO search committee, who were tasked with finding a replacement for longtime CEO Schulman, who informed PayPal of its plans to retire at the end of last year. CNBC reports Chriss was chosen from a pool of nine candidates. The board also met with over 20 investors, including activist investor Elliott Management, its report noted.
“With his depth of experience in product development, his passion for serving customers and his longstanding commitment to empowering and enabling small businesses, and his proven track record of developing and inspiring his team, Alex is the perfect leader to take PayPal forward and accelerate the company’s growth opportunities,” said John Donahoe, Chair of the PayPal Board of Directors, in a statement. “The Board search committee worked diligently and thoroughly to find the right candidate to take PayPal into its next stage of growth and expansion, and we are confident Alex is that person.”
Chriss joins PayPal at a time when the company has been restructuring, having announced in February it was laying off 2,000 full-time employees, or 7% of its workforce, citing the macroeconomic environment. It said its savings of roughly $600 million would be reinvested in projects like passwordless checkout, one-click in-app experiences, and leveraging AI for advanced checkout flows, among other things.
Donahoe also thanked current CEO Schulman for his “outstanding leadership during PayPal’s eight years of growth as an independent company.”
“Dan made many major contributions to PayPal and helped establish the strong foundation for the future,” he said.
Exiting CEO Schulman first joined PayPal in 2014, following its separation from eBay. Under his leadership, Paypal grew its revenues from $9.2 billion in 2015 to $27.5 billion in 2022, with total active accounts more than doubling to over 430 million in 200 markets. Total payment volume also increased 5x from $288 billion in 2015 to $1.36 trillion in 2022.
“I’m proud of what we have accomplished at PayPal and of the incredibly talented and committed people I work with every day,” said Schulman, in a statement. “Together, we have reimagined financial services and e-commerce, and worked to improve the financial health of our customers. PayPal makes a difference every day for its customers and communities and the Company is positioned for a great future. It has been a huge privilege to have the opportunity to lead this great company for the past 8 1/2 years. However, I’m at a point in my life where I want to devote more time to my passions outside the workplace. I remain 100 percent committed to working closely with the Board and my eventual successor for a smooth transition and to ensure we keep our positive momentum on track,” he said.
Schulman will remain on PayPal’s board until its next annual meeting of stockholders in May 2024.
Investors are reacting favorably to PayPal’s news, as the stock is up nearly 2% so far this morning.