PayPal: David Marcus (CEO)
Since he hesitantly became CEO in 2012, David Marcus has had a successful but unconventional relationship with PayPal. Unsure if his entrepreneurial spirit would bode well with a large financial firm, Marcus accepted the position based on his belief that PayPal could create an “unfillable hole in the lives of people.” Despite his reluctance, Marcus took a “fix it before it breaks approach” with his self-proclaimed “invisible turnaround.”  It worked. With a natural avoidance of bureaucracy, Marcus streamlined product lines, collapsing a set of nine tools into one and increasing mobile payments from $4 billion to nearly $30 billion. He also hired and fired liberally, cutting almost a third of engineers while sourcing tech and entrepreneurial talent from competitors. Under Marcus, eBay announced it would spin off PayPal because of a changing “industry landscape,” even though PayPal accounted for about 41% of eBay’s profits. After purchasing over $1 billion in start-ups, Marcus became “exhausted” and ripe for the picking. Mark Zuckerberg made him an offer to run Facebook Messenger and, in a surprising twist, Marcus accepted the friend request, implicating Facebook’s desire to become competitive in the multi-trillion dollar e-commerce payment business.