Ben Ling to Leave Facebook

Ben Ling, Facebook’s Director of Platform Product Marketing, has decided to leave the company in the near future after joining Facebook from Google less than a year ago, according to reports by Eric Eldon and Kara Swisher today.

The move is a surprising one for many given Ling’s highly visible role as spokesperson for many of Facebook’s new Platform improvement and application certification initiatives as recently as the f8 conference in San Francisco last month, where Ling keynoted after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Ling told Swisher today that he was leaving Facebook to pursue “another opportunity.” “Facebook is a tremendous organization, and I would not leave it if it were not for a great opportunity,” Ling said.

Subsequent to the news leaking this afternoon, Facebook issued the following statement:

“Facebook confirms that Ben Ling will be leaving the company in the coming weeks to pursue other interests. We wish him well and appreciate his great contributions to the early success of Facebook Platform. Platform is poised for continued growth and success, and the company is on track to deliver the range of major initiatives announced last month at f8, including Facebook Connect, fbFund and the Great Apps and Application Verification programs. Each of these programs have a strong team of professionals focused on attracting the best developers to Facebook Platform, helping developers succeed on Platform, and helping users find and enjoy great applications on Facebook.”

Ling’s departure follows those of Product Management VP Matt Cohler, who recently announced his departure for Benchmark Capital, and former CTO Adam D’Angelo, who left to take time off. While many will speculate on the impact of cultural shifts at hand due to very fast growth and recent executive changes on Ling’s decision, Ling has not publicly announced what his next steps will be.