Facebook Inc's chief technology officer, Bret Taylor, is departing "sometime this summer" to start his own company, in the first exit of a high-profile executive since the social networking company's IPO on May 18.
In an announcement on his Facebook page verified by a company spokesman, Taylor said he will be starting up a new company with Kevin Gibbs, a senior Google Inc engineer, according to his Facebook profile.
The news was first reported by AllThingsD.
"While a transition like this is never easy, I'm extremely confident in the teams and leadership we have in place," Taylor said on his page. "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."
Some investors had speculated that Facebook would have trouble holding onto key talent following its IPO, which created many millionaires among its ranks.
Facebook executive Mike Vernal will take over the platform division, one of Taylor's key jobs. Cory Ondrejka will take over mobile, a source familiar with the situation confirmed.
"I've really enjoyed working with Bret and getting to know him as a friend and teammate," said Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg in a statement.
"I'm grateful for all he has done for Facebook and I'm proud of what he and his teams have built. I'm also proud that we have a culture where great entrepreneurs like Bret join us and have such a big impact."
Many high-profile Facebook executives have left the company since its founding in 2004, including Taylor's predecessor as CTO, Dustin Moskovitz. He left Facebook in 2008 with his colleague Jason Rosenstein to form a social-networking company for business called Asana.
Moskovitz, a onetime Harvard roommate of Zuckerberg, had been with the company since its earliest days.
Another former roommate of Zuckerberg's, Chris Hughes, also left a few years ago and coordinated online organizing for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Now, he is publisher of the New Republic magazine.
Dave Morin, who joined Facebook in 2008, left in 2010 to found another social network, Path. Facebook alumni Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever left in 2009 to start Quora, their question-and-answer company.
Matt Cohler, who joined Facebook from LinkedIn early in 2005, joined venture capital firm Benchmark Capital in 2008. His investments there include Asana and Quora.
Chris Kelly, Facebook's chief privacy officer, left in 2010 to run unsuccessfully for attorney general of California.
Facebook shares closed at $30.01 on Friday, up 1.7 percent.
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