Online payments major PayPal has roped in Rakesh 'Rocky' Agrawal as director of strategy. In his new role, Agrawal will be responsible for working with entrepreneurs and small businesses, and help them understand the e-commerce and payments market.
A graduate of Northwestern University, with a bachelor's degree in journalism and concentrations in economics and sociology, Agrawal is a product and marketing strategist who has over 15 years of experience in the web and mobile media. His areas of expertise include social networks, local, commerce, payments and mobile technologies. He consults on product and marketing strategy for a range of companies.
Previously, he had created innovative consumer products for Microsoft's Tellme, AOL Search, Washington Post and Newsweek. In the startup world, he had worked at uReach Technologies, which supplies communications solutions to wireless & broadband carriers.
He joins PayPal from reDesign, a consulting outfit in the mobile and internet domain.
A subsidiary of eBay Inc, PayPal processes more than 9 million payments every day. PayPal claims that it has 143 million active accounts in 193 markets and 26 currencies around the world. Headquartered in San Jose in California with its international headquarters in Singapore, the company has a development centre in Chennai in India.
Agrawal's appointment comes even as eBay is under pressure to spin off PayPal as a separate unit.
Last month, activist investor Carl Icahn, who holds 2.15 per cent stake in eBay, had called for spinning off PayPal payments unit. However, Pierre Omidyar, eBay founder and its largest shareholder with a stake of 8.37 per cent, rejected the demand, saying he has the support of some of the most active shareholders.