CTO Bret Taylor Leaving Facebook

By David Cohen 

Facebook Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor announced that he will leave the social network later this summer to start a company with Kevin Gibbs, founder and tech lead of the Google App Engine and creator of Google Suggest.

Taylor joined Facebook in 2009 as director of platform products, and he was promoted to CTO in June 2010.

AllThingsD reported that Mike Vernal will now oversee the Facebook platform, while Cory Ondreijka will head up mobile. They have been with the social network since 2008 and 2010, respectively.

Taylor said in a post on his Facebook page:

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.

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

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.

I want to give a special thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. You’ve not only been my boss for the past three years, but my mentor and one of my closest friends.

Thanks to all of you at Facebook for the most incredible three years of my life.

And Taylor said in an interview with AllThingsD:

I had always been upfront with Mark that I eventually wanted to do another startup, and we felt now is the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that.

Cross-pollination among companies is what drives so much of innovation, so I would not project a lot onto this event. I am really confident that the mobile and platform leaders at Facebook can deliver what needs to be done.

We are dealing with the cultural change of increasing attention, from going from a private company with a lot of scrutiny to a public company with a lot more scrutiny.

Readers: Do you think this is an isolated departure, or the start of the brain drain many feared when Facebook’s initial public offering launched?