Facebook hires Anand Chandrasekaran in Messenger app push

Former Yahoo and Snapdeal executive Anand Chandrasekaran will assume a global leadership role to help develop strategies for Facebook Messenger


Anand Chandrasekaran was most recently chief product officer at Snapdeal, one of India’s leading e-commerce start-up companies. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Anand Chandrasekaran was most recently chief product officer at Snapdeal, one of India’s leading e-commerce start-up companies. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: Facebook Inc. has hired Anand Chandrasekaran, a former Yahoo Inc., Snapdeal and Bharti Airtel Ltd executive, to help develop strategies for its Facebook Messenger app, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

In May, when Chandrasekaran quit Snapdeal, it was widely believed that he would take a second stab at entrepreneurship. Instead, he will join Facebook at its Menlo Park office in the US.

Chandrasekaran, 38, co-founded Aeroprise, a personalized mobile applications software company that was acquired by BMC Software Inc. in 2011.

At Snapdeal, run by Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd, Chandrasekaran is credited with launching a revamped version of the marketplace’s website and app, introducing an image search feature and integrating Freecharge, the mobile payments firm Snapdeal acquired in April 2015 for $400 million.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Chandrasekaran said, “the best journeys bring you home”.

Educated in India and the US, he moved to India and joined Airtel as its chief products officer in 2014 and moved to Snapdeal a year later.

Before joining Airtel, he spent 13 years at technology firms such as Yodlee, Openwave Systems and Yahoo, where he was senior director, search and mobile products.

In the post, Chandrasekaran, who confirmed that he was joining Facebook, described his time at Airtel, where he launched music streaming service Wynk and wallet service Airtel Money, and Snapdeal as “intense, humbling and incredible”.

“Going native and reconnecting with the country you grew up in is something I didn’t imagine I would get to do, let alone witnessing the entrepreneurial journey that is driving India forward. I saw first hand how it became cool to build code and products that solve problems, the heart of what makes the Valley and other ecosystems what it is.”

In a Quora post last week, Chandrasekaran wrote that he wanted to work on platforms that democratize technology.

“Core to every major platform I have worked on is a belief that technology should help level the playing field for all, something that is at the heart of Facebook and Messenger,” he said in the Facebook post.

The technology executive has also become a prolific angel investor and has invested between $25,000 and $50,000 in around 15 start-ups including food technology firm InnerChef, healthcare company Pluss and dating platform Aisle.

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