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Facebook Crypto Executive David Marcus is Leaving the Company

Facebook's David Marcus announces his departure, saying 'my entrepreneurial DNA has been nudging me.'
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David Marcus, the head of Facebook parent Meta's  (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report cryptocurrency efforts, said Tuesday that he will be parting company with the social media giant.

"After a fulfilling seven years at Meta, I’ve made the difficult decision to step down and leave the company at the end of this year," Marcus said in a Facebook post. 

Marcus, who joined Facebook in 2014 after two years as president of PayPal  (PYPL) - Get PayPal Holdings, Inc. Report, is leader of Facebook's "F2" financial division and the co-creator of the yet-to-be-launched Diem digital currency.

He leads the crypto unit Novi leads crypto unit Novi, which Facebook launched last month in a pilot program.

Marcus said that Novi VP of product Stephane Kasriel, previously an PayPal employee and former CEO of Upwork, will take over the leading the team.

"While there’s still so much to do right on the heels of hitting an important milestone with Novi launching — 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.

Originally called Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency ambitions received scathing criticism from regulators and even central bankers, forcing the company to recalibrate the effort and also roll out a rebrand.

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Designed to be managed by a non-profit consortium called the Libra Association, the plan was to launch a wallet called Calibra that would allow users to send Libra cryptocurrency coins to each other. 

A Libra coin was supposed to be backed by a basket of currencies.

However, concerns from regulators were substantial.

They included the impact Libra could have on financial stability to potential issues over privacy and money laundering, all of which prompted the consortium to shift gears and only offer stable coins backed by just one nation’s currency.

The Libra Association changed its name to the Diem Association  and Facebook changed the name of its digital wallet Calibra to Novi.

Facebook founder CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on Marcus' post, saying "I've learned so much working with you and I'm so grateful for everything you've done for this place."

"We wouldn't have taken such a big swing at Diem without your leadership and I'm grateful you've made Meta a place where we make those big bets.," Zuckerberg said. "You've built a great team, and while I'll miss working with you, I'm looking forward to working with Stephane to lead the team going forward."

Shares of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Meta Platforms were down 3.3% to $326.72 at last check.