David Marcus, the executive in charge of the troubled cryptocurrency project at Meta Platforms — the company formerly known as Facebook — announced Tuesday he will step down at the end of the year to pursue other projects.
Marcus, who previously was the president of PayPal, joined Facebook seven years ago to oversee the social network’s messaging products. More recently, he oversaw Libra, a digital currency announced by Facebook in 2019 with the promise of allowing people to easily send money across borders.
However, the Libra project was hit by delays amid scrutiny from legislators and regulatory bodies. Initial concerns centered on then-Facebook’s potential influence on financial markets as well as potential privacy risks. Marcus was called to testify before members of Congress on the matter in 2019.
Facebook later renamed Libra as Diem. The company also launched a digital wallet called Novi in a limited pilot in October — but without the digital currency that was initially intended to be its biggest feature.
“While there’s still so much to do right on the heels of launching Novi — and I remain as passionate as ever about the need for change in our payments and financial systems — my entrepreneurial DNA has been nudging me for too many mornings in a row to continue ignoring it,” Marcus said in one of a series of Twitter posts Tuesday.
The news of Marcus’s departure comes after a particularly tough period for the company’s public image following the release of hundreds of internal documents from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.
Marcus’ leadership role will be filled by Novi VP of product Stephane Kasriel. Kasriel is the former CEO of Upwork and, like Marcus, a former exec at PayPal.