The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
Blackhawk Network CEO Don Kingsborough will oversee the efforts for the online payment service.
PayPal Inc., the online payment processor owned by eBay Inc., is moving more aggressively into physical stores.
To oversee that move PayPal has hired Blackhawk Network founder and CEO Don Kingsborough as its vice president for retail and prepaid products. Blackhawk Network is a provider of gift card services and a subsidiary of Safeway Foods.
Kingsborough will be tasked with steering PayPal’s move into retail stores by the end of this year, wrote Scott Thompson, PayPal president, in the company’s blog.
“If you’d asked me two years ago when PayPal would be in retail environments, I don’t think I’d have said ‘by the end of 2011’ but that’s the truth,” wrote Thompson.
PayPal has been moving in that direction since opening its platform in 2009, he wrote, as developers such as Bling Nation began using the PayPal platform to process online and mobile payments.
“These new ideas, coupled with the incredible rise in connected devices and smartphones, have pushed traditional lines between online payments and offline purchases together—opening up an entirely new market for PayPal as the megatrends of mobile, social and local collide," wrote Thompson.
Kingsborough previously helped oversee Blackhawk Network’s launch of gift card kiosks offering cards from many retailers and others, which are now in thousands of retail locations, PayPal says. He was also founder and CEO of Worlds of Wonder Toys and worked as president of consumer products at Atari Corp.
"Don’s experience in consumer product development, technology, retail, POS and merchant relationships will prove invaluable as we work to bring PayPal to connected devices and the offline world," wrote Thompson.
Christopher Payne, vice president and general manager, eBay North American Marketplaces, is a keynote speaker at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011. He will speak in a session entitled "A market leader leads the way into mobile."