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Former Snapdeal exec Anand Chandrasekaran joins Facebook to develop Messenger app

Anand Chandrasekaran

Anand Chandrasekaran

Social networking giant Facebook Inc. has hired former Snapdeal chief product officer Anand Chandrasekaran to help develop strategies for its Messenger app.

Chandrasekaran, who quit Snapdeal in May barely a year after joining the e-commerce marketplace, confirmed his new role in a Facebook post.

“I am joining Facebook to work on Facebook Messenger platform,” he said. “Really looking forward to working with Ime, David, Stan, John and the team to listen and learn and help build on the momentum,” he added, referring to senior Facebook executives Ime Archibong, David Marcus, Stan Chudnovsky and John Lagerling.

Chandrasekaran, a technology executive who has previously worked in Silicon Valley, also talked about his new role and spoke about his past few years in India and the changing entrepreneurial landscape in the country.

“It’s hard not to look back—the past couple of years have been the most intense, humbling and incredible periods I’ve experienced professionally living in India and bring a part of Snapdeal / Freecharge and Bharti Airtel.”

Chandrasekaran joining Facebook comes as a bit of a surprise as he was said to be looking to take a shot at entrepreneurship after he quit Snapdeal. Over the past year or so, he has also emerged as an active angel investor and has backed more than a dozen startups.

His most recent investment was in Pune-based ed-tech firm Makkajai Edu Tech Pvt. Ltd, where he invested along with Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan.

Before joining Snapdeal, Chandrasekaran spearheaded the launch of several technology initiatives as Bharti Airtel’s chief product officer during a 13-month stint. Before Bharti Airtel, he was senior director at Internet giant Yahoo in California, US.

In 2001, Chandrasekaran had co-founded Aeroprise, said to be the world’s most widely deployed mobility solution for IT service management.

For Facebook, this is the second high-profile appointment of an Indian executive in recent months. In June, it had named ex-Adobe executive Umang Bedi as its managing director in India, three months after Kirthiga Reddy stepped down from the post.

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