Pinterest has hired Facebook’s corporate development
director, Gary Johnson, to lead its efforts around acquisitions
Johnson worked on some of Facebook’s biggest deals,
including its WhatsApp acquisition.
Gary Johnson, one of Facebook’s top dealmakers, is joining
Pinterest to head up all corporate development.
He’ll report to Pinterest CFO Todd Morgenfeld and lead
partnerships and acquisitions spanning all parts of Pinterest’s
business. He previously served as Facebook’s director of
corporate development for five years and worked on the social
network’s biggest buys, including its blockbuster $19 billion
acquisition of WhatsApp.
“Unlike any other product in the market, Pinterest provides a
world in which hundreds of millions of people can discover and do
the things they love, from the everyday to the aspirational,”
Johnson said in a statement shared with Business Insider.
“Pinterest unlocks people’s hidden superpowers. I’m excited to
join this world-class team in building a product that brings
value across audiences, from Pinners to partners and brands and
content creators, and help in continuing to grow the company.”
Adding Johnson to its upper ranks is a strong sign that Pinterest
intends to ramp up its dealmaking. The visual discovery platform
has acquired over a dozen startups to date, including
the human-powered search engine called Jelly and the
bookmarking service Instapaper. Before joining Facebook, Johnson
was a VP at Credit Suisse and served in various management roles
Johnson is joining Pinterest just as its president and top
business executive, Tim Kendall,
is leaving to create a startup with the goal of curbing tech
device addiction. Pinterest
raised $150 million in funding at a roughly $12 billion
valuation earlier this year and reportedly expects to make $500
million in ad revenue for 2017.