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PayPal hires Walmart exec as chief technology officer in AI push

Photo illustration of a PayPal logo

By Hannah Lang

(Reuters) - PayPal has hired one of Walmart's top tech executives Srini Venkatesan to head up the company's push into artificial intelligence as its new chief technology officer, the company told Reuters on Thursday.

Venkatesan will oversee technology across the payments giant, including AI and machine learning, information security and product engineering, the company said.

Under PayPal CEO Alex Chriss -- who joined in September -- the company has tried to tap into investor enthusiasm for AI, announcing new AI-based products in January, like a platform that enables merchants to reach new customers based on their prior shopping history.

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Chriss has called 2024 a "transition year" for PayPal, and has promised to grow revenues beyond transaction-related volume.

“As we execute our mission to revolutionize commerce globally, Srini’s experience leading technology, digital transformation and AI personalization from inside some of our largest customers and partners will be invaluable," said Chriss in a statement.

Venkatesan led a team of 14,000 under Walmart's U.S. Omni Platforms and Tech organization, which is responsible for building platforms to support the retailer, including elements of the Walmart+ subscription service.

Archie Deskus, PayPal's current chief technology officer, has decided to leave the company and will depart in July after supporting the transition, PayPal said.

(Reporting by Hannah Lang in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)