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eBay snags Bing's development manager, Facebook scientist

As part of an effort to beef up its search tools, eBay reportedly hires Bing's development manager and a scientist from Facebook.

Prevost weighing in as a panelist during 2009's Semantic Technology Conference.
Prevost weighing in as a panelist during 2009's Semantic Technology Conference. Tom Krazit/CNET

Adding to the list of recent departures, Microsoft has lost the principal development manager of its Bing search engine to commerce giant eBay.

According to All Things Digital, Scott Prevost who joined Microsoft as part of the Powerset acquisition in 2008, has left to become the VP of product management for eBay's search tool. He's joined by now former Facebook research scientist Dennis DeCoste, who will be eBay's director of research. Together, the pair are said to be working on improving the relevancy of eBay's built-in search tool.

A Microsoft representative confirmed Prevost's departure and said "we wish him well in his future endeavor."

Prior to his two-year stint as the GM and director of product for Powerset, Prevost had been the CEO and CTO at the Animated Speech Corporation, which merged with educational software and research company TeachTown in 2006. As for DeCoste, he too had been a Microsoft employee, though he had worked as a principal scientist for the company following his stint as the director of research for Yahoo's Research group.

Prevost joins a handful of recent departures from Microsoft's management and engineering ranks. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that server and tools boss Bob Muglia would be leaving the company later this year. More recently, Brad Brooks, who served as corporate vice president in Microsoft's Windows Group, left the company to join Juniper Networks. Meanwhile, Matt Miszewski--the former general manager of Microsoft's government business--left Microsoft for in late December, though he was temporarily blocked from taking his post as a VP due to Microsoft winning a restraining order based on non-compete and confidentiality agreements Miszewski had signed. There's also Johnny Chung Lee, the Wii hacker Microsoft hired to work in its Applied Sciences group to develop Kinect algorithms, who jumped ship for Google earlier this month.