Facebook CTO departing to 'start a company' with Google engineer

By Peter Gothard
18 Jun 2012 View Comments
Hacker Square staff meeting zone at Facebook - Credit F Moreels-and-Facebook

Facebook CTO Bret Taylor has announced he is soon departing the social networking company to start a new project.

"I wanted to let you all know that I'll be leaving Facebook later this summer. I'm sad to be leaving, but I'm excited to be starting a company with my friend Kevin Gibbs," Taylor posted on his Facebook wall.

Further reading

"While a transition like this is never easy, I'm extremely confident in the teams and leadership we have in place," Taylor continued.

"I'm very proud of our recent accomplishments in our platform and mobile products, from Open Graph and App Center to Facebook Camera and our iOS integration. I'm even more excited for the world to see all the amazing things these teams have coming."

Taylor added: "I've learned more than I ever imagined in my time at Facebook. I'm also extremely grateful for my relationship with all of the amazing people I've worked with here," before naming Mark Zuckerberg as not just a boss, but "my mentor and one of my closest friends".

On top of his recent work with Facebook's mobile developments, which may or may not have helped the company's stock activity at the company's IPO a couple of weeks back, Taylor is also credited as the co-creator of Google Maps, and its accompanying API.

An ex-Google product manager, Taylor founded, and was CEO of, social media aggregation site FriendFeed in 2007 with other Google leavers. FriendFeed was bought outright by Facebook in 2009, netting its creators a rumoured $50m (£31.9m) in cash and Facebook shares.

It is not known whether Gibbs, a senior staff software engineer at Google who wrote a blog in March this year entitled "Build a team they'll never leave", will be leaving Google in order to work on his and Taylor's new project.

It seems an unusual time for a CTO who, if Taylor's pride in his mobile accomplishments at Facebook are to be believed, is in the midst of achieving some corner-turning technology and working practices for the company.

But with Gibbs heading up the Google App Engine project, which lets developers run apps through Google interfaces, it seems that what both Taylor and Gibbs have in common is passion and experience for apps and mobile.

Meanwhile, Facebook's flagging share value is now seeing it turn its ire on NASDAQ, threatening to leave the stock market entirely in favour of the New York Stock Exchange.

It would appear Facebook is still holding NASDAQ's technical glitches at the IPO launch responsible for the $20m (£12.8m) shortfall on Facebook's original valuation, but it's not difficult to see lack of public faith in a robust mobile business plan as an equally contributing factor.

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