Managing Editor Dan Fletcher Leaving Facebook

By David Cohen 

Facebook Managing Editor Dan Fletcher announced in a post on his Facebook page that he will leave the social network in April, after revealing the news Wednesday during a talk at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., as reported by two journalism students at the school in a post on PBS MediaShift.

Justin Runquist and Kaitlin Gillepsie of Murrow News Service, which provides stories written by students at the school, reported that Fletcher said he would launch his own online startup, and he indicated that he was confused as to why Facebook hired him in the first place.

Fletcher said, according to the post in PBS MediaShift:

I’m leaving Facebook in the middle of April because I’m so excited about these other models. I think largely, Facebook is a really good force in our society, but there are other stories I want to tell, too.

I think the biggest mistake they made in bringing me on is this title. (Facebook) doesn’t need reporters. You guys are the reporters. There is no more engaging content Facebook could produce than you talking to your family and friends.

Facebook is meant to sort of fade into the background. When Facebook starts producing content, it takes you away from that mindset.

According to Mashable, Fletcher joined Facebook in January 2012, after stints as social media director for Bloomberg and associate editor at Time. He helped launch and manage Facebook Stories, which debuted last August with the aim of “celebrating the extraordinary ways that people are using Facebook.”

Fletcher’s Facebook post read:

This is sorta an open secret at this point, but things aren’t official until they’re Facebook official. I’m leaving Facebook in April. It’s been a blast to work on the Facebook Stories project, and I’m particularly grateful to Skip (Bronkie), Peter (Jordan), Allie (Townsend), Mandy (Zibart), Jeffrey (Gerson), Nicholas (Arioli), and Sara (Mott) for being an incredibly talented group to work with. I’m excited to see where it goes next, and excited to work on some new projects of my own.

Readers: What did you think of Fletcher’s comments about Facebook not needing to produce its own content?