Facebook CTO Bret Taylor leaving for start-up

June 15, 2012

Facebook’s chief technology officer Bret Taylor announced on his Facebook page Friday that he will be leaving the social network later this summer. Taylor said he will leave to start a company with his friend and Kevin Gibbs, who is currently the lead and manager of the Google App Engine project.

“I've learned more than I ever imagined in my time at Facebook,” he said in his Facebook profile. “I'm also extremely grateful for my relationship with all of the amazing people I've worked with here.”

With several new developments in Facebook’s platform under his belt, Taylor said he feels it’s time to move on.

“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,” he said.

In an interview with All Things Digital, Taylor said that the timing is right, now that Facebook has gone through its initial public offering.

“I had always been upfront with Mark that I eventually wanted to do another start-up,” he told the site’s Kara Swisher. “And we felt now is the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that.”

In that interview, Taylor said that Facebook executives Mike Vernal and Cory Ondreijka will take his place at the company, with Vernal overseeing platform operations and Ondreijka taking care of mobile.

Taylor came to Facebook by way of FriendFeed, which the company purchased in 2009. Taylor co-founded the company, which let users post real-time updates to friends and family much in the same way that Facebook did. Taylor did not give details about his new start-up.

He was instrumental in the launch of Facebook’s Open Graph.

In a statement, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wished Taylor well.

“I've really enjoyed working with Bret and getting to know him as a friend and teammate. 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.” he said.

(Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Co., is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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