new chief financial officer will be taking a leave of absence for medical reasons, the company announced late Wednesday.
Blake Jorgensen joined PayPal (ticker: PYPL) last month following a months-long search after the prior CFO, John Rainey, left the payments company for
Gabrielle Rabinovitch, who served as PayPal’s interim CFO between May and August of this year, will step in as acting CFO during Jorgensen’s absence, the company said.
“Blake has been fully immersed in serving the company during his first months as CFO. We are looking forward to Blake returning to his role following his recovery,” PayPal chief executive Dan Schulman said in a memo to staff, in which he also noted that Jorgensen’s condition was “treatable.”
“While we will all miss Blake during his leave, wellness is one of our core values and I believe deeply that doing what is needed to prioritize health and wellness must always take precedence,” Schulman wrote.
PayPal is in the midst of a turnaround after the company was forced to retreat from some of its more ambitious growth goals earlier this year as e-commerce trends—which flourished during the pandemic—started to wane.
But even as Wall Street retreated from the stock, some saw opportunity in the company’s depressed valuation. Activist hedge fund Elliott Management took a roughly 2% stake in the company just weeks before PayPal announced Jorgensen would be joining the company and that it would focus on “profitable growth” and “cost discipline.”
Analysts also have renewed confidence in the stock.
“PYPL is exactly the type of stock you want to own in this tape,” John Davis, analyst at Raymond James, wrote in a note earlier Wednesday.
He emphasized that the stock should hold up well amid challenging market conditions. Davis went on to note that PayPal offers “defensive growth” as payments become more digital. He also likes PayPal’s “clean” balance sheet and “significant” free cash flow generation.
While Wall Street increasingly likes the stock, Wednesday’s news took traders by surprise.
PayPal shares slid as much as 1% in after-hours trading after climbing 2.8% in Wednesday’s session.
Write to Carleton English at [email protected]