Skip to main content

When should a CEO write support email?

Hi from Portland, Oregon! I’m attending XOXO Festival this week.

Over the weekend a story blew up about an email response from the CEO of Paypal. Andy MacMillan (one of the organizers of XOXO) had GBP £40,000 being withheld by Paypal, and try as he might, he couldn’t get it back.

So he asked the internet for help, and ultimately got this response from Paypal’s CEO:

Image of email from Paypal CEO

I’ve highlighted a few of the things that David Marcus, CEO of Paypal did in his email that were effective.

  1. Your problem = solved In the first sentence, he committed to making the problem go away & releasing the funds
  2. We’re under new managementTried to rebuild trust: New CEO, 5 months in. Things will be different.
  3. Help me, help you Told Andy his preferred path forward: Continue using paypal and tell me what’s wrong. I will make the product better for you.
  4. You’re our only hope More than that, your feedback will save all paypal customers.
  5. I care that your problem gets solved At least send me a one liner when you receive the money so I know when to stop making heads roll.
  6. Want my first born child? Here’s my mobile number – a gesture above and beyond. I know you’ll never use it but I want you to know Im serious.

Do you think this email from David Marcus is effective?

Around the net, it was met with quite a lot of skepticism. But in my read of the email, it struck me as a genuine attempt to right a wrong.

I’d love to hear from you. What’s your opinion on David Marcus’ response? And what other CEO email stories do you have?



P.S. If you’re in Portland, Oregon and will be attending XOXO, let’s grab coffee!

P.P.S Follow us on Angel list. Help us get visibility with investors to help us grow and keep writing this email.