PayPal lays off emerging technologies R&D team as part of broader restructuring

  • PayPal just laid off its emerging technology research team, Insider has learned.
  • The team oversaw R&D for cryptography, quantum computing, and distributed ledger technology.
  • The payments giant is undergoing a restructuring that will see it consolidate its teams to cut spending.

PayPal has laid off its security R&D team focusing on emerging technologies, Insider has learned. And a source with direct knowledge of the cuts believes it won’t be the only unit to be affected, as the payments giant undergoes internal restructuring to cut spending.

“There’s a lot of restructuring, a lot of refocusing for the business. As you know, the last few quarters haven’t been really great from a financial standpoint. I think there’s a lot of tightening in course in the company,” the source said. , who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. The source added that employees working on other advanced security topics, such as threat intelligence, were also fired.

A PayPal spokesperson confirmed that the emerging technologies research team had been terminated, adding that “it was not a short-term endeavor.”

The four team members – three employees and one contractor – were laid off around April 1. The team was responsible for researching how the payments giant could use advanced technologies for security, such as quantum computing, cryptography and distributed ledger technology. One such initiative, in which PayPal partnered with IBM, focused on using quantum computing and machine learning to analyze large datasets to detect fraud – but many The benefits were theoretical and had not yet been proven, as is the case with many quantum computing initiatives in financial services.

The team fell under the purview of the information security organization, which has also seen personnel changes recently. John Nai, PayPal’s CISO since 2014, retired in February and was replaced by Assaf Keren, who took over in January, according to LinkedIn.

“As you have a new CISO, there’s always a lot of reorganization going on at big companies,” the source said. “Obviously more is happening because of the overall market, the overall economic conditions,” they added.

PayPal stock has steadily fallen to around $110 per share, from a record high of $308 in July 2021. The company has added 122 million new active accounts over the past two years, the number of transactions per account assets also increasing, CEO Dan Schulman said. during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in February.

But market conditions, like supply chain issues and rising inflation, put downward pressure on growth, Schulman said. Meanwhile, eBay’s move to end-to-end payment process management “put $1.4 billion of pressure on our bottom line,” Schulman said on the earnings call. Competition from fintechs like Stripe and Shopify also continues to saturate the payments and e-commerce space.

PayPal provided Insider with the following comment:

“PayPal is constantly evaluating the way we work to ensure we are ready to meet our customers’ needs and operate with the best structure and processes to support our strategic business priorities as we continue to grow and evolve. “company remains committed to providing excellent products and services for our customers. All steps related to aligning our workforce would be done in a responsible manner and provide a level of benefits, resources, advance notice and support that aligns with our values.”

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