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Who is PayPal’s new CEO Alex Chriss?

Here’s what you need to know about Alex Chriss, the Intuit veteran taking over from long-time PayPal boss Dan Schulman next month

Alex Chriss PayPal (1)

Alex Chriss/PayPal

Six months after PayPal announced its long-serving CEO and president Dan Schulman would be stepping down from his post, the tech company has appointed Alex Chriss as his replacement.

Having spent nearly 20 years at Intuit, Chriss led the global financial technology platform through its acquisitions of Mailchimp and rapidly grew the capacity of its platform and its customer base.

His appointment follows a lengthy CEO search conducted by PayPal’s board with the aim of finding a “next-generation leader” with “extensive” experience in global payments, product and technology to drive growth.

“PayPal is an extraordinary company that plays a critical role in the lives of consumers and merchants all over the world,” Chriss said.

“Throughout my career, I have championed small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs, who are the backbone of every economy in the world. I am proud to take the baton from Dan and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with PayPal's talented and committed team to build on PayPal's remarkable history.”

Here are the three things you need to know about new CEO and president Chriss:

1. He has a background helping small businesses

Over the course of his 19 years with Intuit, Chriss served in a number of different roles, most recently as executive vice president and general manager of small businesses and self-employed group.

He led the small business arm for nearly five years, growing customers and revenues at a compound annual rate of 20 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively. 

The sector of the company is responsible for more than half of Intuit’s overall revenue 

"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," PayPal board of directors chair John Donahoe said.

With PayPal’s recent launch of its own stablecoin, PYSD, Chriss’ focus on small businesses and financial freedom could be particularly useful.

2. He has acquisition experience

At the heart of Intuit’s offering are two main offerings: QuickBooks and Mailchimp.

Both used by millions of customers, the email marketing platform came under the company’s banner after Chriss led the successful $12bn acquisition in 2021.

This helped to expand the platform’s reach, particularly to a younger demographic.

3. He had unanimous board support

Set to start on 27 September, Chriss was chosen after a many months-long search process.

He received unanimous support from PayPal’s board and a specific CEO search committee that had an “extensive” evaluation across a number of key metrics centred around PayPal’s future success.

In addition to taking on the mantle of CEO and president, Chriss will also sit on the company’s board.

Former CEO Dan Schulman will also remain on the board until the company’s next annual stockholder meeting next May.

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