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Facebook's Financial Gain is PayPal's Loss

Tickers in this article: EBAY FB

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - David Marcus' move from eBay's PayPal to Facebook Messenger is indicative of a power shift, according to analysts. Marcus, the former president of eBay's PayPal payments subsidiary stepped down from his position to join the Facebook team as the vice president of messaging products. 

Marcus will oversee Facebook Messenger, an app featured on Facebook's desktop platform.

Marcus explained his move in a message he posted to Facebook and LinkedIn. Marcus said that the driving force for this decision was his love for start-up creation over management.

"After leaving a world I knew well - startups, and entrepreneurship - I joined PayPal about 3 years ago through its acquisition of my company, Zong," Marcus said in the posting. "In the first instance running mobile, and eventually the leadership role at the company... I fell in love with it, its people, and the immense opportunity ahead. Going from managing a few hundred people at best in my entrepreneurial career, I suddenly found myself leading 14,000 ... I realized that my role was becoming a real management one, vs. my passion of building products that hopefully matter to a lot of people."

An analyst at Needham & Company, Laura Martin, says this move is indicative of the turnover from PayPal to Facebook." Facebook continues to attracted top internet talents," says Martin in an interview. "This is a long term payments upside for Facebook. While Marcus is not moving into a payments position, talent with payments background will be very beneficial to Facebook's economic future."

The high profile hire shows Facebook's continuing push for messaging. Facebook Messenger originally was included in its main mobile app and just recently separated as its own mobile messaging app in April of this year.

This service is separate from WhatsApp, the mobile-messaging service Facebook announced it was buying for $19 billion in cash and stock. Adding Marcus to the mix shows the resources and effort Facebook is investing in its own messaging service.

Facebook Messenger is in need of some start-up revitalization. Messenger is trailing behind other messenger applications like Line and WebChat, despite 12 billion messages sent through Facebook Messenger every day and around 200 million people using the service monthly. By comparison, WhatsApp caters to more than 500 million users on a monthly basis.

Facebook shares were moving sharply higher in early Tuesday trading, gaining 3.2% to $64.91, while eBay shares dropped 2.5% to $48.33.

-Written by Kathryn Mykleseth in New York.