June 28, 2012, 3:07 PM

PayPal moves its mobile boss into a new role

Hill Ferguson heads up a consolidated product team.

Lead Photo

Hill Ferguson

PayPal, the payment service owned by online marketplace eBay Inc., is making changes to streamline its organization, David Marcus, president of PayPal, said in a blog post this week.

PayPal is consolidating all its product groups into one global organization led by Hill Ferguson, who was previously in charge of PayPal’s mobile unit. Marcus says the goal is to use mobile as an example of simplicity—something he wants for all of PayPal.

“Everywhere, people aspire to simplicity,” Marcus said. “We want to make the lives of our customers at lot better by reducing the distance between what they want, and what they get. We also aspire to enable people to have more of what they want through better, simpler financial services, and products. Mobile is simpler by definition. Starting product designs from mobile will force the elimination of features introducing unneeded complexity.”

PayPal also announced it is combining the Americas regional organization with its Global Financial Services group. Gary Marino, founder and CEO of BillMeLater, which was acquired by PayPal in 2008, will lead the combined entity.

The moves come on the heels of the launch last week of PayPal’s newly redesigned and slimmed-down web site. PayPal says it revamped the site after finding that thousands of pages on it were no longer useful to visitors.

“PayPal.com is where more than 40 million of our customers regularly go to manage their relationship with us,” Vikas Bhatia, senior director, online marketing for PayPal, said in announcing the launch. “With this new look and feel we’ve dramatically cut down the number of pages offered, and focused on those that provide the solutions that the majority of our customers are looking for.”

Bhatia said PayPal talked to customers and found that most only had a few needs from PayPal.com, such as checking their account balances or sending money.

PayPal pared down the menus on its old site to display only the post popular options and added an explore link that highlights new features and projects.

“Our old site focused more on the products and less on the way that our customers wanted to use our products,” Bhatia said.  “As part of this renewed focus on the customer, we have reworked the overall navigation of the site to ensure users can get to what they want quickly.”

Marcus was promoted to president of PayPal in March from his former role as vice president of mobile after former PayPal president departed to become CEO of Yahoo Inc. Since then Marcus has presided over the launch of such initiatives as PayPal Here , a service that lets merchants take payments via their mobile phones through a tiny card reader attached to a smartphone’s audio outlet. Under Marcus, PayPal also further expanded a pilot it launched in the first quarter of offering PayPal as a payment option in Home Depot stores. PayPal announced last month it is extending the program to 15 major national retailers including J.C. Penney, Barnes & Noble and Office Depot.

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