- Former Meta Marketing Executive Jennifer Kattula has retired after 11 years working to “leap” to Web3.
- She first joined the now-defunct cryptocurrency company Celsius, but soon moved to infrastructure startup Polygon.
- Caturra says navigating a bear market is a valuable career experience.
After 11 years as a marketing executive at Meta, Jennifer Kattula received a call in 2021 from a former colleague about joining cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius.
Intrigued by this phone, I started researching cryptocurrencies and Web3. Both are still nascent industries. She became a convert.
“I did an enormous amount of in-depth research, and in that journey, in that quest, I realized that this technology was going to change the world,” Caturra told Insider.
Web3 is advertised by venture capitalists and some techies as: next big thing in technology. It is an umbrella term for the theoretical next version of the Internet, which will operate on blockchain, decentralized technology, and cryptocurrencies. Its core promise is to take power away from companies and give it to users, but it’s still early days and Many Web3 projects failed.
Even so, Katara took a leap.
In December 2021, she stepped down from her role as Senior Director, Global Head of Platform Marketing at Meta and became Vice President of Marketing at Celsius.
Celsius, a cryptocurrency lender that promised higher interest rates than traditional banks, was hit $3.25 billion valuation by the time she joined. Interest in Web3 and cryptocurrencies peaked, with bullish investors pouring a record $30 billion into cryptocurrency ventures that year.
And at the time, Silicon Valley tech executives were stepping down from high-profile, high-paying roles for these risky ventures. One Sherice Torres also moved to crypto startup Circle earlier this year. tell the insider “everybody obeys”.
“I’m not going to lie. It’s safe and I have two kids, so I was very nervous,” Caturra said. “At my stage in life, security means something, but I was there she was 11 and a half years, so at some point the pace of learning slows down.”
Kattula graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MBA in General Marketing and Management before becoming a Group Product Manager at Microsoft.
She said she “always loved technology” because of her engineering background, but a career in marketing attracted her and joined Meta’s marketing department in 2010, beginning her 11-year career there. did.
The move to Celsius surprised her family and friends who thought she was “on Facebook forever,” but it was also a new challenge in trying to explain the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies.
However, Caturra’s first foray into cryptocurrency did not go well and he left Celsius in April 2022 after less than six months.
Citing “extreme market conditions,” Celsius frozen This prevented users from withdrawing or transferring money. In July, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, $2 billion hole on that balance sheet. The crash seemed to symbolize problems with cryptocurrencies and Web3. In other words, the promise of power to users seemed less protected. A U.S. state financial regulator said the company was effectively looks like a ponzi scheme.
“I left long before they went bankrupt,” Caturra said. “I joined the company and realized that I was much more interested in blockchain technology than cryptocurrencies. I really want to work there, it’s a technology-focused company.”
Instead of staying in the industry and operating like a financial institution like Celsius, Caturra became Senior Vice President of Marketing at Polygon, which prides itself on its technical solution to the scaling problem on the Ethereum blockchain. rice field. Polygon operates a sidechain to Ethereum with the goal of enabling developers to build decentralized apps faster and with lower transaction fees. Raised $450 million A round led by Sequoia Capital India and backed by Tiger Global, Softbank and others raised in February.
After meeting with Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal and CEO Ryan Wyatt, Kattula was sold.
Despite the bear market and apparently cooling interest in Web3, Nailwal Said he was still ‘mega mega bullish’ about the industry. Caturra is similarly optimistic, saying it’s worth the risk: “I think the bear market experience will thicken your skin a little bit.”
She added that her experience with cryptocurrencies reminded her of “the early days of Facebook” and said the industry is in the “infancy of possibility”.
While moving to Web3 has a different “risk profile perspective,” Kattula advises new experiences.
“I believe with all my heart that this is where the world is going because there is potential here. Even with companies that don’t, I’m still really excited about it.”