Early Facebook employee and engineering leader Aditya Agarwal announced in a Note published last night that he would be leaving the company at the end of this week. Having joined in 2005, he worked on a wide range of key products, including the news feed, search, advertising, Credits, Photos, infrastructure and much more, and eventually became one of the company’s Directors of Engineering.
The departure isn’t too surprising.
A number of Facebook’s earliest employees have left in the past year, including Agarwal’s wife and fellow engineering leader, Ruchi Sanghvi. The company has quickly grown past 500 million users and towards 2000 employees, it has hired many experienced engineers and executives from around the technology world, and it is inevitably becoming somewhat slower-moving (despite its best efforts to move fast and “break things” in the process). In terms of financial incentives, early employees who held stock options have been able to sell some of what they hold; they’ll be able to sell more once they leave, too.
Meanwhile, a date for an initial public offering — the traditional goal for early employees — is as unspecified as it ever has been.
Agarwal, however, appears to be planning on something startup-related, possibly using the Facebook platform. Towards the end of his announcement, he dropped an intriguing hint (our bolding, below):
I am extremely inspired by the changes that Facebook has affected throughout the Internet ecosystem and how it has changed user expectations about great products. Our Platform has created a unique set of opportunities for building products on the foundations of the social graph. It will be the cornerstone of many future disruptions, some of which I hope to accelerate.[Image via CNET.]