- Good afternoon, everyone,
and welcome to today’s “Dean’s Speaker Series.”
I am really excited
to introduce today’s guest, Dan Schulman.
We are really thrilled that Dan is joining us
and even more thrilled that he is joining us here in person.
Thank you so much, Dan.
Dan became the president and the CEO of PayPal in 2014.
His current leadership role follows three decades
of experience in a number of leadership roles
and responsibilities at organizations
across the telecom sector.
Prior to PayPal, he served as group president
at American Express
and before that as founding CEO for eight years
with Virgin Mobile USA.
Dan also spent 18 years at AT&T,
where he held a series of positions,
including president of the Consumer Markets Division.
Dan’s notable leadership success and impact
had been recognized by many organizations.
In 2021, he was ranked in the top three
of Fortune’s list of the world’s greatest leaders,
an honor that recognized individual
for their leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
He’s been frequently recognized by Fortune
as one of the top-20 businesspersons of the year,
and Dan has been named one
of the top 100 most creative people
by Fast Company.
In addition to his daily responsibilities at PayPal,
Dan is also actively involved in the World Economic Forum.
He also serves on the board of directors
of the Business Roundtable,
and he’s a life member of the council of foreign relations.
Dan is a leader who goes beyond himself,
and he’s an exemplar of the Berkeley leader.
He has been quoted as saying
that he believes social activism is in his DNA,
and he’s uses his leadership positions
to push that quality forward,
so I’m really, really looking forward
to having a longer conversation with him
about how he does that.
Dan, on behalf of all of us here at Haas,
thank you so much for being here today.
Please, join me again in welcoming Dan Schulman.
Maybe just to get us started,
maybe we can start by looking in the rearview mirror,
and you could just give us an idea or a glimpse
into, over the years, are there certain experiences
or certain individuals
who have really affected you
and really changed who you became and how you lead.
- Well, that introduction did that.
I was one of them.
I wish my mom was here to see that or hear it.
Look, I think we’re all (tuts) products of our parents.
Whether that’s good or bad,
we’re definitely products of them.
Yeah, I was fortunate to have
two great very socially aware
and very progressive parents.
My mom and dad taught (chuckles) me a lotta lessons.
I was a little bit rambunctious as a youth,
and my dad always said,
“Son, you’re born with two ears and one mouth,
and you should use them proportionately,”
which was good advice.
I watched them advocate
for issues that were unpopular
in certain places in our country.
My dad was promoted
to be a plant manager.
He worked at a chemical corporation.
The facility manager down in Mississippi
fired this black guy
for drinking outta the wrong water fountain.
My dad went down to Mississippi to reverse that,
and I remember my mom;
this is during the whole civil rights movement,
where people were being beaten up
and people were being killed;
just hanging by the phone
wondering what was gonna happen to my dad
and just the catch in her voice
when he called and said he was okay.
And there are things like that that always affect you.
I’ve had great mentors along the way.
Gail McGovern, who’s now the head of the Red Cross,
mentored me for many years.
Richard Branson, who I worked with at Virgin,
was a big advocate
for corporations being a force for good in the world.
I learned a lot from him and Desmond Tutu
and others that surrounded us at the time,
so I’ve had a lot
of fortunate encounters and mentors along the way,
my parents though being primary among them.
- Thank you for that.
Thank you for that.
What kind of leader do you consider yourself?
- You know, great one.
(Ann laughs) (audience laughs)
- [Ann] Round of applause for that.
- I think leadership involves a lot
of different elements to it.
I’ve done martial arts my whole life.
For 50 years, I’ve done martial arts,
this form called Krav Maga,
which is the Israeli martial arts form.
I think you learn a lot through martial arts.
You learn to be very, very humble
because no matter
who you’re getting into a ring with
or who you might potentially be fighting…
First of all, a tremendous amount of respect for them.
And no matter who they are,
they’re probably gonna hit you
and probably gonna hurt you and could very well beat you,
and so you learn to be very humble.
You learn that you never know it all,
that you always have to listen intently and learn.
And you know
to not be aggressive.
You would think it’d be counterintuitive
that you’d martial arts for a long time,
but the best way to win a fight
is to walk away from a fight.
It’s not to get engaged in the fight,
and so that’s really served me quite well.
There’s a quiet confidence that comes from it:
a lotta humility, a lot of listening, a lot of learning,
and a huge amount of respect
for not just everyone you interact with
but your customers, your competition.
The one other thing I’ve learned in martial arts
is you should never ever stand still in a ring.
If you’re fighting, you always wanna be moving,
‘cause the moment you stand still is the moment you get hit.
And I feel that’s the same way in business.
You constantly need to be innovating and pushing yourself,
or inevitably you’ll find out that you’re falling behind.
- Thank you. Thank you for sharing that.
Your leadership qualities, it reminds me
of something that we’re really proud of
here at Berkeley Hass.
We’re really proud of our defining leadership principles.
One of them is exactly what you were talking about,
confidence without attitude.
Our students are really remarkable
for that confidence without…
I guess you could call it humility.
- Confidence with attitude is insecurity.
That’s what I think.
- Whoa. That’s a great point.
We also have this idea of a Berkeley leader
as taking the longer view,
thinking about going beyond themselves,
another leadership quality that we really celebrate,
so along those lines,
do you think that there’s an inherent conflict
between profit and purpose?
Or do you think those can actually be combined?
- I could be in the minority in thinking this,
but I think more and more people are beginning
to think this way, at least CEOs that I’m good friends with.
I think, actually, profit and purpose
work hand in hand together.
There may be a disconnect in the timing around some of that.
I’ll talk about that in a second,
but I think
the number-one most important constituency
of any company
of any CEO
is the passion and the quality
of employees that work with them.
Give me a great set
of engaged passionate employees
with a mediocre strategy,
and I’ll bet on that team all the time
versus a great strategy (chuckles)
with mediocre employees.
And I think the best employees want
to work at a company
that is trying to make a difference in the world,
that has a mission that resonates,
and that has a set of values
that aren’t just words on a wall but are things
that you actively participate in.
Yeah, I been called an activist CEO,
and there are times where people are like,
“Why are you standing up for that issue?”
And we could talk about those,
and I really think of myself
as a concerned citizen of the world.
I don’t think there’s any way
to be disconnected
from the communities around us.
We’re all inextricably linked
and tied together,
and so I don’t think that there’s a disconnect.
I think there’s actually a connection between the two.
I do think that at times,
if people are looking to optimize profits next quarter
versus over the medium to long term,
you may be doing some things…
We did a $535 million commitment
to really do our part in advocating
for reducing the racial wealth gap
in our country.
That was a large amount of money.
This is post the death of George Floyd,
and it was really…
I felt like after talking
to a couple black leaders in the country
that this needed to be a moment over time,
not a moment in time,
and so I felt like we really needed to invest
in a very meaningful way
that obviously impacted some profits over the short term,
but I feel like it unleashed a torrent
of emotion inside PayPal and pride
and attracted quite a number
of really talented people to the company.
And so I feel like that was the right thing to do,
but if you were looking to optimize the next quarter,
it probably wasn’t.
- Thank you.
A related question is
when does it make sense
for a company PayPal
to take a political stance.
I’m thinking in particular…
I know that PayPal canceled
its Charlotte, North Carolina, expansion plans
after a controversial bathroom law was passed there,
so how do you decide
when and if PayPal takes a political stance?
- Well, I try very hard
not to take political stance.
I try to take values-based stance.
They’re often conflated,
but I would say we’re,
in our country at least…
Our country has, I think, a set of values.
I think they can transcend the political spectrum.
In North Carolina, we withdrew from North Carolina.
It was very public.
I didn’t realize that it was gonna be front page
of “The New York Times”
and that I was gonna receive
multiple, multiple death threats
as a result of it,
not be able to go into a bathroom
without security checking the stalls.
That was pretty lonely at the time,
but I feel like that wasn’t…
And that was because of the so-called bathroom bill,
HB2, House Bill 2,
which I felt allowed
for the potential discrimination against somebody
for their sexual orientation or sexual identity.
And I felt like that was anathema to the values of PayPal.
Our number-one value is
how do we create an inclusive company.
I love Justin Trudeau’s dad’s quote:
“Diversity is a fact,
but inclusion is a choice.”
I felt like if that’s our number-one value,
we need to stand up for it.
Yeah, we had had this big press conference
with the governor
of North Carolina,
and he gave us the bowl of North Carolina,
which was this wooden bowl
that was carved out of a tree that was struck by lightning
in front of the state capitol.
This is important ‘cause we lost the bowl,
and after we withdrew, he demanded the bowl back,
and we couldn’t find it,
Oh. (laughs) (audience laughs)
It’s true, Governor. We could not find it.
We really were not just hiding it from you.
(audience members laugh)
Anyway, I really tried to…
I forgot to talk to my board about it,
because I felt it was so ingrained in our values
that we had to stand up for it.
And I was in front
of a auditorium like this
but full of special operations people
in San Diego
talking at one of their graduation,
and I was talking about this, which is really
around transgendered and sexual orientation.
And I could see everyone in the audience.
Their arms were crossed like this.
This was not a thing that they were really gung-ho about,
and I said, “Look, not everybody has to agree
with what we did,
but I didn’t feel like that was a red issue or a blue issue.
I felt it was a red, white, and blue issue.
I felt like our country is founded
on the principle
that we should not discriminate against people in any way.”
Very slowly, they all got up
and gave a standing ovation on that,
and I felt like that was such a moment for me
to see what could be
a more conservative element in our country
saying, “You know what?
Standing up for difficult things like that,
getting death threats,
taking a more difficult stand,
it’s what we all should do.”
We have the moral responsibility to do that.
And so I try to take stands
where they involve
the values of PayPal.
Not always easy to do by the way.
We remove a lot
of groups every single day every single month
from our platform.
We don’t allow them to raise money
either on Venmo or PayPal
if they’re gonna advocate hatred
or racial intolerance or violence.
And I feel like that’s our responsibility.
I am going to go do that.
Even though people will disagree with a lot of our choices
because there’s a nobody…
You probably don’t teach it here.
Nobody teaches where free speech and hatred
cross, and so you have to make
very difficult decisions sometimes on that.
You also need to know code
because somebody could Venmo you 88 cents,
and you may think that that’s great you just got 88 cents,
but 88 cents is a hate trope.
Eighth letter of the alphabet is H.
Eight eight is HH which is heil Hitler,
so you need to know,
and $16.88, 16 are the 16 words
of the white nationalist manifesto,
and so there a lotta things you need to know
to take down different groups.
It’s not straightforward,
but it’s our responsibility to do that.
When we take down Proud Boys or other things,
I always get death threats after that kind of thing,
but I feel like that’s who we should be as a company.
Once you go (chuckles) down that path,
you need to stay true to those values.
It’s not always easy.
That’s for sure.
- Thank you for sharing that.
Now I think I understand
why you have security here with you today.
- [Dan] ‘Cause of the mean students of Berkeley, yeah.
(audience laughs) (Ann laughs)
- Yeah, well, our students are, I would say, amazing,
so I’m not too worried about that.
- I was kidding of course.
(Ann laughs) (audience laughs)
Nobody take that outta context. Deal.
- On a totally different note,
let’s shift to the pandemic
and how that is affected PayPal.
The pandemic has led to some benefits.
Many of us have spent a lot more time at home,
but it’s also led to tremendous challenges,
and it’s also led to tremendous inequities.
Different parts of our country has been affected massively.
Mortality rates / sicknesses are much higher
in the black and brown parts of our population.
But just out of curiosity,
let’s just start with a simple question,
which is what does the future of work look like at PayPal.
- That’s a simple question? Okay.
Can’t wait for the hard question.
Well, overnight, we went
from having 67 major offices around the world
to having 40,000
because everybody had their own office now from home.
And if you had asked me a year before
could we fully go remote in two weeks,
close down every (chuckles) office,
create actually secure links, protect data…
If I had asked my team that,
they probably would’ve come back with a two-year Gantt chart
and “here are all the risks,
and we gotta figure out policies and procedures.”
So one thing it taught me
is when you have to, anything is possible.
Anything is possible,
and it really opened my eyes
to what you can do when you must do it,
when you have no choice.
The other thing is the pandemic, for employees…
First, our North Star
was the physical wellness of employees,
making sure if they needed ventilators,
we could get it to them.
We went all out to take care of our employees,
and then we realized
that it wasn’t just their physical health.
It was their mental well-being as well
because mental stress went up dramatically.
It didn’t matter who you were.
If you were women,
our workforce had to juggle in many ways,
not just work but taking care of kids that were at home.
Families got fractured on this.
People who were single felt incredibly lonely
and were despondent and depressed.
And so every part of our population
was affected mentally by this.
We actually withdrew performance evaluations
because we felt it was fundamentally unfair
for some people who were taking care of kids and couldn’t…
I felt it was unfair to go and do that.
And the other thing we did
is we figured physical health, mental health,
and then financial wellbeing
because of what…
You mentioned this.
I’ll just talk about the U.S.,
but this goes across the world.
2/3 of the U.S. population
struggle to make ends meet at the end of the month, 2/3.
It’s not a certain proportion of our population.
The vast majority of our population in the U.S.
struggles to make ends meet.
I thought that would never be true inside PayPal
because we’re a tech company.
We pay above market rates everywhere
for every position,
which is why many of you
wanna come and work at PayPal someday,
including, hopefully, our values,
but what I found out when we did a survey
is all of our entry-level employees
and our call center employees
were struggling to make ends meet.
And what it really taught me is that…
This is a bold statement
that I made in the middle of Wall Street.
It was not looked on fondly.
But capitalism is not working
for a big part of our population.
The market is not working
I would’ve thought,
because as we pay above market,
that we would’ve been paying fair wages,
but we weren’t,
and we created this measure called NDI,
net disposable income,
how much money does somebody have after they pay all
of their taxes and essential living expenses.
And we did a study with some academia,
which I’ll start working with you on some of these,
which basically said
for somebody to be financially healthy and secure,
they needed to have 20% NDI.
20% of their income after
needed to be put into savings and unexpected expenses,
and our NDI for all our call center entry-level employees,
which is 50% of our employee base,
was between 4 and 6%.
And so no wonder they were struggling to make ends meet.
And so we basically said
we’re gonna lower the cost of healthcare benefits by 67%
for these employees
so they don’t have to choose
between food on the table and healthcare benefits,
raise wages, give everybody equity in the company,
and surround all of that
with the financial education program
because many didn’t have equity before,
never had savings before,
and today the minimum
right now is 18% NDI inside PayPal.
Hopefully, this year, we’ll get to 20%,
but that’s definitely our targeting.
We will get there,
but those are some of the things that you had to go do.
Coming back to the office and what form that takes,
we’re well underway of thinking about that,
but I’m also of the opinion you shouldn’t be dogmatic.
There shouldn’t be a two-three or a three-two.
Every team needs to figure out
where do they need to be together
and where can they work remotely
and what form does that look like.
And that’s the direction that we’re going.
- Thank you. Thank you for that.
Now I’m gonna switch gears again
and think more broadly
about the future of fintech
and the future of an inclusive fintech world.
I used to work at the World Bank,
and one day I found myself in Bogota, Columbia,
and the president was giving a lecture to a couple of us.
And I was really surprised
because he was explaining
that if you wanted to withdraw money…
If you went to a teller machine,
you wanted to withdraw money,
just to withdraw a little bit of money,
that was a $5 cost.
You were charged $5,
so clearly, very expensive.
And one issue that we’ve already talked about
is how to make the world more inclusive
and how to make fintech more inclusive.
So just by way of introduction,
what do you see
about the biggest problems
in the way that the financial industry is set up?
Why would it be the case at a place like Columbia
that just to withdraw a couple dollars
might actually cost you $5?
- Because it’s expensive to be poor.
That is the unfortunate truth,
and that is a saying that is very true
in the financial services industry.
It’s backwards, completely backwards,
but the less money you have,
the more it costs you to manage and move it.
Think about it.
If you don’t have a checking account,
then you have to stand in line for 30 or 40 minutes
to cash a check.
You can spend anywhere between 3 and 5%
of the value of that check
to cash it,
and that’s if everything works right.
I’ve done this.
I have everyone in PayPal go out
as if they don’t have credit cards or anything,
and so I was standing in line for a cash-checking facility.
This is, by the way, where a lotta people get robbed
because that’s where the money is.
People (chuckles) are walking out with cash afterwards.
And my check was written out to Dan Schulman,
and my driver’s license was Daniel Schulman,
so they wouldn’t cash it.
And they said, “But if you wanna cash it,
you can go up to an apartment down the block
on the fifth floor, this room,
and they’ll cash it for you,
but it’ll cost you a lot more,”
and at that point, I thought, “Well, okay,
this isn’t worth the exercise (laughs)
for me to go and do this anymore,”
‘cause I didn’t know what was up there.
And then by the way, when you get that cash
and then you wanna pay a bill,
then you have to spend another line
to do a bill payment where you can…
To pay a cable bill can cost you $10
just to pay the cable bill
for the bill-pay location.
So this idea of it’s expensive to be poor
is rampant across the financial industry,
and it affects those with the lowest incomes something…
Last year, 140 billion was spent
on unnecessary fees and high interest rates
for those who can at least afford it.
It’s about 10% of their disposable income is spent on this.
It’s the same amount that they spend on food,
so this is crazy,
especially when you could use technology now.
You have all the power of a bank branch
in the palm of your hand
with your mobile phones, with your smartphones.
You don’t have to stand in line anymore.
You can instantaneously do something.
If I sent a remittance to Columbia from here traditionally,
only 92 cents
of that dollar I sent to people who really need it
would get to them.
If you did electronically,
that could be done at…
97-98 cents would get there;
should be even less than that;
but instantaneously, too,
not a week to go and do this,
not people having to remember passwords.
I tried to do this with my daughter.
I sent her a remittance,
and she couldn’t remember her password.
Then I sent her, and then I couldn’t remember it.
It was a mess,
and I can send money to you
via PayPal or Zoom or Venmo instantaneously.
I can be at a stoplight and be paying my (chuckles) bills.
My daughter’s always running outta money,
and I’m always her bank
and sending her money (audience laughs)
wherever I am,
which she needs desperately at that moment.
It really can change the face of the way
basic transactions are done,
and I think this is really, really important.
I said 2/3 of Americans struggle to make ends meet,
and I talked about capitalism being broken
for a big part of our population.
I think financial health is the bedrock
of a functioning democracy,
and what do I mean by that?
If you struggle to make ends meet,
and you feel like the system is letting you down
all the time, no matter how hard you work,
you can’t make ends meet.
It’s the first generation
that thinks that their kids will not do better than they do.
That’s fundamental to part of the American dream.
People tend to radicalize.
They either drift to the right or to the left,
and you see this in…
At one point, I thought the election was gonna be
between Bernie Sanders on one side
and Donald Trump on the other side.
These are two extreme candidates on either side,
more left, more right, much less centrist,
much less people
who are thinking about things holistically.
My favorite quote about democracy is
“it needs to be more
than two wolves and one lamb
voting on what to have for dinner,” okay?
So think about that,
because you have to rise above your own self-interest
to figure out what is right.
The era of statesmanship seems to be
on the decline,
and a strong democracy rests
on people having some degree of financial health,
believing in the future,
having the ability to dream about what could be.
And I think
it is something that gets me up every single day
that motivates me
because I do think part of the solution
is rooted in technology
and what we can do to radically bring down costs.
That can be in electronic.
It could be in blockchain.
It could be in a number of different methodologies.
But I do think we play a crucial role in that.
- Thank you, Dan. Oh, sorry.
Thank you, Dan.
In 10 minutes, we’ll have opportunities
for you to ask follow-up questions
if you would like to ask questions,
so think about any questions you might have for Dan.
In a related issue, you talk a lot
about the importance of building trust
as a business priority,
and you also talk about the importance of building trust
with your stakeholders,
with the stakeholders at a broader level.
How do you do that as a company?
- Well, I think trust is foundational.
PayPal was recently voted
as the number-two most trusted brand in the world.
And I think
trust is built up over years,
unfortunately, can dissipate in moments,
in days and weeks.
And to me,
for a financial services company…
At our heart, we’re financial services.
We’re obviously a tech company.
We’re a financial services company.
You need trust,
and trust, to me, is built on a couple of components,
one, that we respect your privacy,
we don’t sell any of your information,
number two, that your information is secure, which is
a constant threat,
cybersecurity, as we’re seeing today
in the world.
But it’s a constant threat.
Everything in our society is built
off of software.
The elevators we ride in,
the dams that hold back water,
our electrical grid,
our cars, our planes,
heart pacemakers, it’s all built off of software.
We’re attacked a billion times a year
on people trying to get in,
and all of your ID and your passwords have been stolen.
You need to look on the dark web.
They’ve all been stolen.
I would say probably 2/3 of yours, easily, have been stolen,
and I could find them if you want me to.
So when you sign in to Venmo or to PayPal,
honestly, we pay almost no attention to it.
Jacks or better to open in the poker game.
We do about 270 checks
on every transaction
to make sure that it’s you,
not who you say you are,
because you will sign in legitimately
with somebody else’s username and password
but there are a ton of techniques
that enable me to know whether it’s you or not.
You can’t stop somebody from coming in.
Cyber used to be about these huge firewalls
and moats and turrets.
Now it’s all about DLP.
It’s making sure that your data is not leaked
out of the enterprise,
so you have to have a very sophisticated set
of cyber capabilities.
Yeah, so they’re a number of things
that trust is built on:
security, privacy, and then transparency,
that if you say it’s gonna do something,
it will do that,
that there aren’t hidden charges somewhere.
We do nothing, nothing, in the world
without working with regulators.
We understand there’s second- and third-order effects
of everything that we do,
and I consider our regulatory relationships
to be one of our big competitive advantages that we have.
The monetary system of the world is…
There are a lot of bad actors that try and come in.
We need to spot those bad actors
and prevent them from either taking your money
or doing human trafficking,
child sexploitation, illegal opioid, terrorist activities.
That’s on us to try and prevent.
- Thank you, Dan.
Let’s turn a little bit towards the future.
I have two daughters.
They’re 21, 26 years old.
I’m always asking them when they leave the house,
“Do you have money?” right?
My daughters have not carried a dollar bill or more,
for years, okay?
- That’s ‘cause you pay them.
(Ann laughs) (audience laughs)
No, I understand.
You’re talking about cashless. (laughs)
- They don’t have cash.
Does this mean that we’re headed for a cashless future?
- Well, there’s no question
that the use of cash is dissipating.
Checks are becoming something of a yesteryear.
More and more is being subsumed
into the mobile phone.
10 years from now,
there won’t really be credit cards or debit cards anymore,
that form factor.
That’ll all be subsumed into the mobile phone
because tapping a card versus tapping your phone.
If I tap my phone, I can use all the software in that app.
I can delay my transaction.
I can split my transaction
between rewards points
or my crypto balances
or fiat currency.
Oh, I can get coupons.
I can get rewards points.
I can get a number of things if I use my phone,
so that form factor will evolve.
And by the way, when that form factor evolves,
a ton of things will change too.
We’ll be doing not just P2P transactions,
but P2M transactions, person to merchant transactions,
just right over our mobile phones.
And that will fundamentally change infrastructure
and rails that transactions ride on,
but we also need to know
that the death of cash has been predicted
by a lotta people.
They’ve always been wrong,
and part of that is there are privacy concerns, too,
that people have in the world.
Using cash, you can be anonymous,
and there are parts of the population
that want to remain anonymous
in some of their transactions.
I forget where it was
something in the Scandinavian countries.
A lot of alcohol is purchased through cash
because people don’t want other people to know
that they’re purchasing alcohol,
which is cool,
whatever people want.
And so I think
privacy and digitization
are really interlinked,
and that’s why I think
privacy is such an important element of trust
in what we try to go do.
But I think cash will be around for a long time.
[Ann] Just not my daughters using it.
Well, I think generations will be very different,
and I also think different parts of the world
will be different,
but it’s clearly reducing
as a percent of all transactions
and will continue to do so.
- This is my last question before I open it up.
Give us a prediction
for a change in the fintech space in 2022.
What are some of the changes we’re gonna see?
- Well, I think the pandemic
clearly accelerated all things digital.
I think previously disparate parts of our economy
are coming together on apps.
I think payments, basic financial services,
budgeting tools, bill payment, high-yield savings,
shopping tools, couponing, rewards,
those were all previously disparate apps
and disparate systems.
I was talking to a person the other day
who used to work
at a company called Afterpay that does buy now pay later.
He’s now working at Google.
I said, “Well, why did you leave?”
And he said, “‘Cause I don’t think
buy now pay later is a company.
I think it’s part of a service of things going forward.”
I tend to agree with that.
I think more and more things are coming together
with brands that are trusted.
People want a common UX across a number of things.
This isn’t a super app in China terms,
which is very different.
But where things can come together,
you can have a single log on.
You can utilize data and information
to inform other transactions
and make them more seamless
to be able to lend responsibly.
If I know somebody’s bill-pay information,
I know whether I can lend responsibly to them.
And that data and information can interact together,
and they can have a better experience.
And so I think you’re gonna just see
more and more confluence, different things.
I think the other thing, clearly, you’re gonna begin to see;
I don’t know if it’s this year
but over the next several years;
is a move into digital currencies,
into a different infrastructure.
the infrastructure of the current financial system
is very antiquated.
It takes too long to get to your money.
It’s too expensive.
It’s not programmable,
and so I think you’ll see
things like stable coins,
central bank-issued digital currencies,
more and more use of blockchain technology rise,
because I think it adds utility to what we can do
as a financial service industry and for customers.
- Thank you so much for that.
I now am going to call Ray, too, to the podium,
and after Ray’s question
if you wanna go stand at the mics.
Do introduce yourselves before you ask your question.
- All right. Hey, everyone.
Thanks, Dan, for taking the time with the questions,
and thanks the dean and the team
for helping to put on this event.
I think as students,
we have access to tremendous opportunities,
whether we’re thinking about going into consulting
or banking, healthcare, or even fintech,
so I have a two-part question,
and the first part is
what would be your pitch for working in your industry.
And then within the industry,
I think there’s a ton of exciting things going on,
from buy now pay later to crypto,
and so where do you think within the industry
are the best opportunities?
- Well, I think I just made my pitch to all of you,
so I’m not gonna do it again.
No, I think…
Look, if I were in your shoes or any of your shoes,
I’d look to work
at a company that I could be proud of.
When I was looking for different opportunities myself,
I always tell people…
And I mentor so many different people,
and they always say, “Well, should I take this job or not?”
And I’m like, “I don’t know.
What are your filters?
What what’s important to you?”
My filters at one time in my life
were I wanted to be able to take a job that I was proud of,
that I could talk to my kids about
“Dad does this,”
and they would say, “Oh, that’s cool.”
Well, I don’t wanna say this out loud,
‘cause it’s probably streaming somewhere,
but I had an opportunity to run a company.
Was a big company, but it wasn’t a cool company,
wasn’t something that I thought
was gonna make a difference in the world.
I couldn’t imagine telling my kids
Dad makes plastic cups or something.
I wanted it to be something that was impactful,
and I think you should think about that yourselves.
What is it that you wanna be proud of?
And number two, and I think this is important,
and I know I don’t need to tell you this,
but the values of a company
are extraordinarily important
‘cause it’s very difficult now
for a company not to take a public stand in some way,
and if they don’t, it also says something.
And so you should be proud of what the company stands for
and what it does and what its values are.
I would just apply that to everything.
One of my things was location
‘cause at the time, that seemed to be important to me
‘cause I had small kids
and I didn’t want to take them outta school
and I didn’t wanna be someplace
where I couldn’t be home for dinner with them,
so location was important.
And who I worked with was really important
‘cause you don’t wanna work with people
that you have to walk on eggshells around,
who are temperamental (laughs),
or to me, it’s just it’s not worth it.
Life’s too short.
[Ray] Awesome, thank you.
Thank you. We don’t have much time left.
If we have questions,
why don’t you go to the microphone
and introduce yourself?
- Sure. Thank you so much, Dan.
My name is Amman.
I’m a third-year here at Berkeley.
I’m studying computer science.
My question for you is of all of the mentors and peers
that you’ve worked with,
who was among the most innovative?
And what qualities or characteristics
made them so forward-thinking?
- Yeah, hey, Amman. Thanks.
Richard Branson clearly was the most innovative.
First of all,
he cannot let a dollar rest in his pocket for a second.
He’s gotta be (laughs) investing it somewhere.
I remember I was doing Virgin Mobile.
It was during
one of the big downturns.
Richard ran a big airline, Virgin Atlantic.
He always joked,
“What’s the best way to become a millionaire
running an airline?
It’s to start off as a billionaire.”
He really, really believed
that the established companies had a ton of vulnerabilities.
They were looking to maximize profit at consumer expense.
He really looked for how can you be a customer champion.
That has resonated with me from the beginning.
When I went into PayPal, they said,
“Do you think we’re a financial services company?
Or a tech company?”
and I knew this was a trick question (laughs),
‘cause all the tech people are gonna be angry
if I said financial services
and all the compliance people are gonna be angry
if I said we’re a tech company.
And I said, “What I hope we are
is a consumer champion company.”
And by the way, it’s not easy to be a consumer champion.
You have to challenge your own business model.
We used to steer people
to the lowest funding instrument in the PayPal wallet
and then I came up with this idea:
“Well, why don’t we give everyone choice?
Whatever you want to use you should use,”
and the day I announced it, our stock dropped 15%,
and people were like, “Urgh,
you’re killing the business model,”
but of course, what happened is engagement went up.
People were happier.
More people spent more.
We weren’t at war with financial institutions anymore,
and that was about being a customer champion.
And Richard I’m very close friends with today.
He taught me so much,
and I’m forever grateful to him for that,
so clearly, Richard would be the answer for that.
[Amman] Thank you, Dan.
Hi, Dan. My name’s Ayiv Shtavay.
I study EECS and business
here at Haas and in the engineering school.
I’m a big motivational speeches…
I love that kind of stuff.
Steve Harvey has what he talks about
as the turn-back moment in your life,
where the going gets really, really tough,
and at this moment, you can turn back,
but the guarantee’s that whatever dream you had
will never happen.
But at that moment, you choose to keep going,
and you succeed.
Did you have a moment like that in your life?
- We all do.
We typically don’t like to talk about ’em, but
mine was clearly the death of my sister.
I was a young,
I guess, rising star at AT&T,
and I, basically,
was very much all about me at the time, very much.
And I was leading a big team
with a project that was reading out to the board of AT&T,
and my sister died.
Oh, it was just unbelievable.
It was like a bomb exploded in my head.
I was so mad at the world,
and I really couldn’t work
for quite some time.
I came back finally,
and we read out to the board,
and I wasn’t sure I even wanted to go back to work,
to tell you the truth.
I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,
but the one thing I knew for sure
is I hadn’t done a damn thing (chuckles) in that project.
It was the team that had done everything,
and I basically said to board,
“I’m the messenger, but honestly, I’ve been out for months.
This team did everything.
It came together when I wasn’t around,
did better than (chuckles) when I was around.”
For whatever reason,
my career took off after that.
It was this idea of giving other people credit.
I thank my sister for that all the time.
I wish she was still here, and I wish
that I was still the selfish individual
that (chuckles) I was back then,
‘cause I’d do that trade-off anytime.
But she taught me a huge lesson that I’ll never forget
and was one of these things
that was that turnaround moment for me.
[Ayiv] Thank you.
[Ann] I think this will have to be
our last question for Dan.
- [Dan] No pressure, no pressure.
(Jack laughs) (Ann laughs)
- Hey, Dan, thank you for being here.
My name is Jack.
I’m a junior transfer here at Cal.
My question is how does being the leader
of a publicly traded company
change how you act.
Obviously, PayPal stocks had a rough go of it
for the past couple months.
Has that changed internal operations at PayPal?
Does that change how you wake up in the morning
and start thinking about PayPal?
I’m just curious if that influences you at all.
- Well, I’m very, very, very competitive, so
probably, it intensifies my competitive spirit,
but I really don’t change.
My daughter once asked me,
“Dad, are you different at the office than you are at home?”
I said, “Well, I don’t tickle anybody at the office
but besides that, I’m pretty much the same.”
I think authenticity is a key leadership trait.
My view is there are ups and downs all the time.
In life, like in business,
I’ve never ever seen anybody
whose life has been straight up into the right.
I’ve never seen any stock go only
straight up and to the right.
You need to be
pretty Zen and even-keeled
when things are going unbelievable,
which they had for seven years.
Last several months have not been great,
but you know what?
We’re focused. We’ll turn it around.
And that sort of understanding
really carries through the entire company.
I look at things in a big-picture point of way.
Fundamentally, PayPal is a great company
operating in a great industry,
and we’ll do great things going forward as well.
I really try very hard not to change too much
because I think people know who (chuckles) I am.
I wanna be the same through good times and bad times,
and I think most people wanna see a leader who does that.
[Jack] Thank you very much.
So let’s give a big round of applause
to Dan Schulman. (audience applauds)