Facebook blockchain team seeks business development leader

Facebook is looking for a “head of business development & partnerships” for blockchain at its Silicon Valley headquarters. Qualifications include at least 15 years of dealmaking experience for someone who can “lead, grow and mentor a global team of experienced business development professionals.”

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Five months earlier, Marcus had joined the board of Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange, but last month he stepped off the board, in part to avoid the “appearance of conflict,” a Facebook spokesperson said at the time.

Facebook hasn’t said anything about where it’s going with blockchain or even whether it’s focused on digital currencies. But based on the job postings, it seems to be building an artificial intelligence platform for the project and is considering new financial services and “new ways to share information.”

The listing for the business development position is more illuminating because big acquisitions have been central to Facebook’s expansion into new areas. Most notably, in 2014 Facebook spent $19 billion on WhatsApp, snapping up a leading messaging platform. Its next two biggest deals were for photo app Instagram ($1 billion) and virtual reality hardware developer Oculus ($2 billion).

The new job post does not explicitly say that acquisitions are part of the job. Rather, it broadly says the executive will help lead “strategy and investments while also negotiating and closing deals.”

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.

Marcus’ team at Facebook currently includes Kevin Weil, vice president of product; James Everingham, head of engineering; Evan Cheng, director of engineering; and Morgan Beller, who works on strategy.

Also, just last month, Arik Sosman, joined Facebook’s blockchain group as a software engineer. Sosman, previously an engineer at BitGo, was in the news in 2015 for detailing on his blog how Facebook’s personal assistant “M” was powered by humans, not AI.

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