Josh Elman Leaving Facebook, Returning to More “Hands-On” Product Role

Facebook Platform Program Manager Josh Elman, who has been with the company since early 2008, has decided to leave Facebook. Elman, who worked on the launch of Facebook Connect and has been focused on helping large developers like the Huffington Post, JibJab, and others launch Connect integrations since, says he is primarily looking to return to a more hands-on product role. Elman’s last day at the company was Friday, and he says he and Facebook are parting on positive terms.

Prior to joining Facebook last year, Elman was head of product management at Zazzle, and before that was a senior product manager at LinkedIn. At Facebook, he has played more of a product marketing role, helping “almost everyone” who has used Connect. While Elman hasn’t finalized his next move yet, he says he is exploring several “exciting opportunities.”

“Josh was a great illustration of an ideal Facebook Platform team member,” says Keith Rabois, VP of Strategy and Business Development at Slide, one of the largest developers on the Facebook Platform, of Elman. “It was obvious that he cares deeply about Facebook succeeding with their Platform and developers succeeding with their businesses. Even when we disagreed with Josh, which could be quite often, he was quite transparent about Facebook’s reasoning and principles, and was willing to genuinely listen to developer feedback and try to accommodate developers’ interests.”

Elman leaves at a time when the Facebook Platform team has stabilized following Ben Ling’s departure last August. After Ling left Facebook to take the Director of Partnerships, Platform, and Syndication role at Google (where he worked previous to joining Facebook), VP of Communications and Public Policy Elliot Schrage took over as interim head of Facebook Platform marketing until Ethan Beard moved into that role in January of this year. Around the same time, Mike Vernal took over for Charlie Cheever as head of Facebook Platform and Connect engineering. Justin Osofsky also joined Beard in Platform marketing after a year in business development in May.

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