HALF MOON BAY, CALIF. (TheStreet) -- With Ebay's PayPal (EBAY) poised for a spin-off in 2015, David Marcus, who left the company in June to run Facebook's (FB) burgeoning Messenger app, was in position to become one of the most powerful executives in the payments space.
But Marcus said he wanted no part of that job.
"Running a very large public company ... is actually way overrated," Marcus said Tuesday at the Techonomy conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif., his first public appearance since starting at Facebook in June. "A lot of public company CEOs out there are fairly unhappy, they just don't speak about it. I think the social pressure when you've dedicated your life to reaching that point is such that you're addicted to the power ... and you stay there being unhappy."
"So not even a little part of you wishes you were still there so you could be CEO now that they're spinning it off as a public company," interviewer and Bloomberg TV anchor Emily Chang asked Marcus.
"No, not at all. Really, not at all," he said.
Instead, Marcus said he was ready to get back to building things, specifically to thinking through new features for Messenger, which "is going to become more and more important ... and going to be very big if we succeed."
Big indeed, if size matters. His remarks come a day after Facebook revealed that the messaging app has surged to 500 million active users just a few months after its controversial separation from the main Facebook application. The milestone means that Messenger is already half way to the company's stated goal of getting 1 billion active app users. Then, presumably, as Zuckerberg said most recently on Facebook's third-quarter earnings conference call, Facebook will shift focus to turning Messenger into a real business.