Facebook chief technology officer defriends FB

No longer “in a relationship” with Facebook

Bret Taylor, Facebook’s high-profile chief technology officer, is departing later this summer to start his own company. In an announcement on his Facebook page verified by a company spokesman, Taylor said he will be starting up a new company with Kevin Gibbs, a senior Google (GOOG) engineer.

The move is likely to stoke concerns over the newly public company's ability to hold onto key talent, especially in the wake of continued intense investor and media scrutiny over its rocky IPO last month. Taylor joined the company in 2009 after Facebook acquired his social network startup FriendFeed and was one of the co-creators of Google Maps.

Named CTO two years ago, Taylor has been a strong public figure at Facebook events, including its recent developer’s conference. He also ran two of Facebook’s most important initiatives: its platform and mobile efforts. A pair of Facebook executives, Mike Vernal and Cory Ondrejka, will be taking over platform and mobile duties, respectively.

"I've really enjoyed working with Bret and getting to know him as a friend and teammate," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an emailed statement. "I'm grateful for all he has done for Facebook and I'm proud of what he and his teams have built." Separately, Facebook has agreed to pay $10 million to charity to settle a lawsuit over ads that it called “Sponsored Stories”. The lawsuit, filed by five Facebook members, claimed that the social networking site breached California law by publicizing users’ “likes” of certain advertisers on its “Sponsored Stories” feature without paying them or giving them a way to opt out.

Facebook (FB : NASDAQ : US$31.56), Net Change: 1.55, % Change: 5.15%, Volume: 38,829,186

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