Was Facebook CTO Bret Taylor Fired?

You can choose to believe the explanation that Mr. Taylor gives for his Facebook departure but the timing is extremely odd.  He joined the company just two years ago and then decides to leave a month after the IPO?  Strange things are afoot at the Circle K, if you ask me.

From All Things D:

“Facebook’s high-profile CTO Bret Taylor is leaving the Silicon Valley social networking giant later this summer, with future plans to work on an as-yet-to-be-determined start-up.

The move is likely to be of concern to some over the newly public company’s ability to hold onto entrepreneurial talent, especially in the wake of continued intense media and investor scrutiny over its rocky IPO last month.

That’s especially true since Taylor has been in charge of both platform and mobile efforts at Facebook, a critical arena for it.

A pair of Facebook execs under Taylor — Mike Vernal and Cory Ondrejka — will be taking over platform and mobile, respectively.

Vernal joined Facebook in 2008 from Microsoft, leading the original Facebook Connect project and also working on platform efforts and the development of Open Graph. Ondrejka arrived at the company in 2010 through the acquisition of Walletin; he previously worked at Linden Labs on Second Life virtual worlds.

Facebook’s stock rose 6% on Friday. When news of Mr. Taylor’s plans broke after the market closed, shares fell 8 cents to $29.93 in after-hours trading.

Named CTO two years ago, Mr. Taylor has been a strong public figure at Facebook events, including its recent developers conference. And he was front and center atApple Inc.’s AAPL +0.45% Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this week at the announcement of Facebook integration into its newest iOS.

In an interview on Friday, Mr. Taylor said he understands that his departure will be perceived as a disruption, although he noted that Facebook had a deep bench of talented technical staff.

When asked about the worries he had for the company, Mr. Taylor said the challenge of becoming public was top of mind internally.

‘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,’ he said.” – Kara Swisher

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