Facebook Tech Chief Leaving Company
Bret Taylor, who has been the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Facebook since August of 2009, announced on Friday that he would be leaving the popular social network later on this summer in order to start his own company.
Taylor, who according to the Wall Street Journal was in charge of Facebook’s platform and mobile endeavors, was the CEO of the social network website FriendFeed until it was acquired by Facebook nearly three years ago.
Mike Vernal will take over his platform duties, while Cory Ondrejka will replace him on the mobile side, reported Kara Swisher of AllThingsD.
Vernal joined Facebook in 2008 after working at Microsoft and was in charge of the original Facebook Connect project, while Ondrejka arrived at the social media giant two years later and previously worked with Linden Labs on the Second Life 3D virtual world/video game.
According to Lee Spears and Sarah Frier of the San Francisco Chronicle, Taylor left in order to launch a new startup along with Google engineer Kevin Gibbs. Spears and Frier spoke to a Google spokesman who did confirm that Gibbs would be leaving the Mountain View, California-based company.
In an interview with Swisher, Taylor, the co-creator of Google Maps, said, “I had always been upfront with Mark that I eventually wanted to do another start-up, and we felt now is the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that.”
He also called his time with Facebook as among the “most fulfilling times of my career,” and that he was “really confident that the mobile and platform leaders” with the company would be able to fill the void and “deliver what needs to be done.”
Likewise, Taylor told BBC News that he was “sad to be leaving, but I’m excited to be starting a [new] company… While a transition like this is never easy, I’m extremely confident in the teams and leadership we have in place.”
When asked by the British news agency about his CTO’s imminent departure, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said he was “grateful” for everything that Taylor had done for the social network, which went public with a May IPO and closed at slightly over $30 per share Friday evening.
Also on Friday, documents released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed that US regulators had pressed Zuckerberg’s social network for more information following the February announcement that they would be going public.
As reported previously here at redOrbit, among the topics of the more than 100 questions posed to Facebook were the co-founder’s level of control over the company, user privacy, advertising, and their ability to generate revenue from mobile customers.