- Pinterest has hired Facebook’s corporate development director, Gary Johnson, to lead its efforts around acquisitions and partnerships.
- 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 $US19 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 at Apple.
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 $US150 million in funding at a roughly $US12 billion valuation earlier this year and reportedly expects to make $US500 million in ad revenue for 2017.