PayPal poaches Walmart tech chief to spearhead AI revolution

PayPal has announced the appointment of Srini Venkatesan as its new chief technology officer.

This strategic move underscores the payment giant's commitment to advancing its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and enhancing its technological infrastructure.

Venkatesan, who previously led Walmart's US Omni Platforms and Tech organisation, brings a wealth of experience in digital transformation and AI personalisation. At Walmart, he oversaw a team of 14,000 professionals responsible for building platforms to support the retailer's operations, including elements of the Walmart+ subscription service.

PayPal's president and chief executive officer, Alex Chriss, expressed enthusiasm about the appointment, stating, "As we execute our mission to revolutionise commerce globally, Srini's experience leading technology, digital transformation and AI personalisation from inside some of our largest customers and partners will be invaluable."

The new executive’s role will encompass overseeing technology across PayPal's entire ecosystem, including analytics, data science, AI and machine learning, information security, infrastructure operations, and product engineering.

Venkatesan shared his excitement about the new role, saying, "I'm incredibly excited about joining PayPal and bringing together my experiences across tech and retail to personalise customers' shopping experiences."

This appointment comes at a crucial time for PayPal, with CEO Chriss describing 2024 as a "transition year" for the company. In January, PayPal unveiled new AI-based products, including a platform enabling merchants to reach new customers based on their prior shopping history.

The current CTO, Archie Deskus, will be departing the company in July after supporting the transition. Under Deskus' leadership, PayPal has made significant strides towards operating as a platform company and strengthening its technology team, processes, and systems.

As PayPal continues to evolve in the rapidly changing fintech landscape, Venkatesan's appointment signals the company's intent to leverage AI and advanced technologies to drive growth and innovation in global commerce.

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