How PayPal’s Technology Leadership Application Develops Senior Talent

  • PayPal’s Know-how Leadership Method is a 2-yr rotational system.
  • 10 mid-vocation staff members are chosen for the extremely selective program just about every 12 months.
  • Contributors produce business and tech expertise, leadership expertise, and global awareness.

Gerard Prunty has expended most of his nearly 6-12 months occupation at PayPal working as a knowledge scientist. On the other hand, he not long ago observed himself executing anything he never could have imagined: primary a sales presentation for a client.

“If you had informed me a calendar year and a 50 % in advance of, as a data scientist working in fraud, that I’d be executing product sales pitches to retailers and partners, you know, I would’ve mentioned you’re nuts,” Prunty advised Insider.

His new tasks arrived as final result of his participation in PayPal’s Technological know-how Leadership Application, which he joined in January 2020. Prunty, who was a direct facts scientist on PayPal’s hazard group, also expended time functioning as a product or service supervisor and building and launching credit history items in addition to his time in revenue as portion of the TLP. 

It really is a method that Sri Shivananda, PayPal’s chief technology officer, likens to an “inner MBA” and is one of the payment giant’s principal resources of management progress. 

The TLP aims to expose mid-occupation staff to all areas of the firm via 4 diverse rotations about the system of a two-12 months time period. Shivananda, whose business office at present sponsors the method, instructed Insider the method prepares participants for long run management roles as a result of its concentrate on 5 core regions: organization acumen, leadership expertise, international perspectives, wide technological innovation fluency, and personal growth.

While some TLP members return to their previous companies in different roles, several alumni shift on to new groups and roles at the summary of the plan.

10 employees are acknowledged into each individual cohort of the very aggressive system. Candidates are nominated for the TLP by a director-amount leader and submit a two-moment video highlighting their factors for applying and the skills they’ve formulated through their vocation.

Sri Shivananda

Sri Shivananda is PayPal’s chief engineering officer and the sponsor of the TLP system.


Considering the fact that TLP’s inception in 2011, the program’s 20 cohorts have manufactured 95 graduates. The the vast majority of alumni (58) have also remained at the firm, one thing Shivananda reported is a key asset to PayPal’s management enhancement pipeline.

When PayPal seems to be to make a significant adjust or build a new product or service, Shivananda mentioned that a TLP alum is nearly constantly included in a leadership part. 

“This plan just accelerates the development of an particular person in phrases of what they understand, what they’re capable of,” he explained. “If they are not likely by this plan, it could have taken them a decade to achieve that type of awareness and encounter, and listed here is a compact, two-calendar year, targeted application that puts them ahead by that considerably time.”

A crucial element of the system earlier was making it possible for individuals to relocate to join groups in diverse international locations or regions. Despite the constraints of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has retained its world-wide emphasis, permitting contributors to get the job done with diverse teams pretty much. 

“In modern planet, in competing with the field, we have to have to be related in every geography, and hence, we will need leaders almost everywhere,” Shivananda explained.

How the software functions

Contributors in the TLP go away their present-day roles at PayPal and select four various groups throughout the enterprise to be part of for six-thirty day period rotations. 

Throughout each and every rotation, a participant will perform on anywhere from two to five jobs with the crew they are embedded with. During the program’s history, 281 managers have hosted TLP individuals on their groups, Shivananda said. TLP alumni commonly share their ordeals through internal blogs and shows.

The application is just not just valuable to the members, he added.

“There may perhaps be a single individual understanding, but the optimistic effect of their finding out in fact now is picked up by so numerous men and women around them,” Shivananda mentioned. “No matter whether you want to contact it the osmosis effect or whatsoever it is, this neighborhood in fact is one particular of the ideal in phrases of providing again to the business.”

Gerard Prunty

Gerard Prunty concluded PayPal’s Technological know-how Management Software in 2021.


Prunty made use of his qualifications in facts science to uncover insights that assisted PayPal’s Berlin-centered product sales team regulate some of their tactics shortly just after signing up for them. As his rotation progressed, he began observing product sales phone calls with associates and merchants, sooner or later presenting and closing deals independently. 

Prunty’s remaining rotation was on Paypal’s world investigations workforce, which merged his earlier practical experience in fraud avoidance with some of the more recent capabilities he had uncovered during his 1st 3 rotations. 

In the course of his rotation, Prunty established a answer to determine prospective inbound links between fraudulent accounts and avoid them them accessibility, a project that was in the long run reviewed by senior PayPal execs. 

“When I arrived back again into a role where I was essentially form of acquainted with this place, I was just in a position to obtain points that I’d never done in my vocation just before that,” mentioned Prunty, who joined the global investigations workforce entire-time subsequent his completion of the TLP in December.

A merging of private and expert passions

TLP also encourages members to recognize methods to include the matters they are most passionate about, the two inside and outdoors of the place of work, into their roles at PayPal.

Prashanthi Ravanavarapu, a senior director and head of product for client activities at PayPal, was section of the very first TLP cohort in 2011. At first a product analyst in a info-targeted job, Ravanavarapu explored merchandise administration, central architecture, and payments platforming through her TLP rotations.

Prashanthi Ravanavarapu

Prashanthi Ravanavarapu participated in the 1st cohort of the TLP program from 2011 to 2013.


As Ravanavarapu’s time in the system wrapped up, she spoke with system mentors about her uncertainty transitioning to a function that didn’t emphasize info. She also wanted to make social effect a greater emphasis in her upcoming career, but struggled to envision what that could look like.

“Both of those of them requested me fantastic thoughts which manufactured me mirror — on what I seriously appreciated, what I desired to do. And they designed me know that I was definitely making an attempt to get again to data because I cared about these particular troubles, and the only way I knew how to solve them was knowledge,” Ravanavarapu reported.

Ravanavarapu ended up signing up for PayPal’s Trigger Merchandise team as a senior supervisor, wherever she aided produce marketing campaign “playbooks” that facilitated donations to nonprofit companies about the entire world, guiding PayPal’s 2013 holiday-providing campaign.

Subsequent the good results of the 2013 campaign, the playbooks were being used for other subsequent campaigns. Last calendar year, PayPal processed about $4 billion in donations for the duration of the holiday season. 

“I was generally performing items on the aspect – volunteering, supporting a nonprofit, funding an orphanage, and so on. Even our workforce situations would be about volunteering and fundraising and issues like that, but that did not come to feel fulfilling. That was not ample — that felt like very moment or minimal to where by I wished to be, so I believe the system seriously aided me chart out the route to merge those people missions,” she claimed. “I’ve had a extremely purposeful occupation at any time because coming out of TLP.”

Simonne Stigall

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