Sherice Torres quits Facebook and joins the Web3 exodus from Silicon Valley

  • Sherice Torres, former head of marketing for Meta’s digital wallet, Novi, quit her job in 2021.
  • Torres was cold recruited by cryptocurrency startup Circle.
  • She explained why she and other Silicon Valley workers are drawn to Web3 and crypto.

Sherice Torres had been working at Meta for a year as the marketing director of Novi, its digital wallet, when she was approached by a recruiter from Circle, issuer of the USDC stablecoin.

Torres told Insider she was “very happy” in Novi, but had always believed “in the power of a phone call”, so she called in late 2021 “just to be polite”.

Torres was introduced to Circle executives including COO Elisabeth Carpenter, CEO Jeremy Allaire and Chief Strategy Officer Dante Disparte and came away impressed.

“In my first interview with Jeremy, I asked him what was the most important thing I should come away with from that conversation, and he spent 25 minutes on a Sunday talking to me about Circle’s mission and values, and about how we really need to start with mission in everything we do, she said.

In January, Torres joined Circle as Chief Marketing Officer.

She joined a host of Silicon Valley workers are leaving jobs at big, established tech companies for smaller startups focused on cryptocurrencies and the nascent “Web3” space, a contested and catch-all term for a future blockchain-based internet blocks and decentralized applications. The exodus makes visible the dividing line between tech workers who think Web3 will displace big tech companies like Google and Facebook, which have gained enormous power on the web, and those who think Web3 is a scam. .

Circle, founded in 2013, is backed by Goldman Sachs and helped develop the USDC stablecoin, a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency. The USDC now has a

market capitalization

of $53 billion, and Circle is about to go public via a

after-sales service

merger. Its CEO Jeremy Allaire is hyper optimistic about the future of crypto, but acknowledged in a recent interview that the sector is “super, super early”.

“I think a lot of executives are making this transition, because we want to be at the forefront of what’s to come,” Torres said. “We want to stay ahead of consumer trends so that our companies, our products and our know-how remain relevant.

“I don’t think this is the end of Silicon Valley, I just think some companies, including Circle, are at the forefront of what’s to come. Everyone will follow.”

Torres earned her undergraduate degree in African American Studies at Harvard University, started at Deloitte as a consultant, then went to the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

She embarked on a 15-year media career at Nickelodeon, working on such famous properties as “SpongeBob Squarepants” and “Dora the Explorer,” but eventually joined Google in 2014, drawn to the idea of ​​creating products of the future.

This laid the groundwork for her senior role in Meta’s new payments division, where she wanted to tackle the “poor tax” of cross-border remittances.

When Torres first joined Meta in 2020, it was still called Facebook and at an exciting time. Through a new financial services division called F2, the company was working on a stablecoin called Diem, overseen by longtime executive David Marcus.

But F2 and Diem ran into hurdles as the US government looked unfavorably a digital currency managed by Facebook. In October, US senators wrote a open letter to Facebook asking the company to suspend its digital wallet, saying it “can’t be trusted to handle cryptocurrency.”

In the last three months of 2021, Facebook was renamed Meta; renamed its F2 group to Novi; and Marcus quit. Meta sold Diem’s ​​assets a month later and Torres left for Circle.

Torres is diplomatic about Diem and Novi’s struggles, and says she still believes the idea is worth pursuing.

“I believed and still believe in the Novi project, especially in Diem as a digital currency,” she said. “But where Diem and Novi were ambitious, USD coin and Circle were operational, and I am a leader looking to scale impact.

“I believe that, not as a representative of Circle, but personally I believe in general, whenever you try to innovate in an industry, trust and reputation are paramount. And if a company has challenges, justified or not, around trust and reputation, it will be extremely difficult to innovate in new spaces.”

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