PayPal's Christina Smedley hired to oversee comms for Facebook Messenger

Before joining PayPal, Smedley worked at Edelman from 2005 to 2012.

PALO ALTO, CA: Facebook has hired PayPal VP Christina Smedley to run communications for Facebook Messenger.

Smedley will join the company as director of communications for Facebook Messenger later this year, said Vanessa Chan, a corporate communications representative for the social network, via email. She declined to provide further detail.

It was not immediately clear when Smedley is leaving her role as PayPal’s VP of global brand and communications.

Smedley has worked at PayPal since 2012, responsible for marketing and communicating the company’s vision for "seamless payment experiences that connect consumers around the globe with merchants of all sizes," according to her LinkedIn profile. She has overseen the company’s global brand and communications teams.

Smedley’s role is being split up between brand marketing VP Greg Fisher, who in the interim will lead PayPal’s global brand marketing team; and corporate affairs VP Franz Paasche, who will now head global comms. Both report to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, the company said in an emailed statement.

"We wish Christina all the best and thank her for her many contributions to our company over the past three years," PayPal said in the statement. "The brand and communications teams are excited to build on PayPal’s momentum and to extend and deepen the influence of the PayPal brand as we engage our 170 million active customers around the world."

Smedley is departing PayPal after the company separated from eBay in July. Although it originally opposed the idea, eBay decided last fall to spin off PayPal into a separate, publicly traded business. EBay said at the time that the move would allow both companies to capitalize on respective growth opportunities.

Since the split, PayPal’s comms team has seen a number of changes. In August, it brought on IBM veteran Ben Edwards to lead on a global basis, charged with explaining to consumers how the website works.

Before the spinoff, PayPal hired Amanda Groty from Hill+Knowlton Strategies as senior director of comms for EMEA, and Franz Paasche also joined the company as VP of corporate affairs. Paul Cohen signed up as VP and global head of corporate communications in May.

Before her stint at PayPal, Smedley worked at Edelman between 2005 and 2012. Her most recent role at the firm was EVP and global chair of consumer marketing. She previously worked for Edelman between 1993 and 1996 as consumer business group director.

Smedley also worked at Amazon as director of worldwide communications from 1999 to 2004, according to her LinkedIn profile.

This article was updated on October 14 with comment from PayPal.

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