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Facebook's Financial Gain is PayPal's Loss

Stocks in this article: EBAY FB LNKD

This story has been updated from 11:09 am EST with additional information, stock price update.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - David Marcus' move from eBay's PayPal (EBAY) 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 (FB) 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 (LNKD). 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."

Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham & Company, says this move is indicative of the turnover from PayPal to Facebook. "Facebook continues to attracted top internet talents," Martin says 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.

After David Marcus posted a message on LinkedIn giving his reasoning for leaving PayPal, Rakesh "Rocky" Agrawal, PayPal's Former Director of Global Strategy, also offers what prompted him to resign from his position through the social media site.

Argawal begins his message alluding to a Twitter (TWTR) controversy surrounding his departure from the tech giant. Agrawal then explains his reasons for leaving.

"The primary reason I quit was that I felt I could no longer represent PayPal and be true to myself," Agrawal writes. "As someone whose role was in large part to be the public voice of the company, I had told myself before taking the position that if I ever started not to believe what I was saying, I had to leave."

Adding on to Marcus' sentiments of missing opportunities to create change through innovation, Agrawal cites the pressures of corporate culture as a prominent reason for him stepping down from his position with PayPal.

"One of the really unfortunate things about the current state of affairs is that some of the smartest people in the world are working at large Bay Area companies but don't feel like they can help solve the biggest problems facing the world. Their jobs are to get people to click on mobile ads....The smartest minds aren't being used to solve the world's biggest problems. That's a tragedy for society," Agrawal writes.

Shares of eBay were down 2.1% at $48.52 at last check.

-Written by Kathryn Mykleseth in New York.

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