Top Facebook Exec Bret Taylor Leaving To Do His Own Thing, More Departures Could Follow

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And so it begins: Facebook CTO and platform guru Bret Taylor is leaving Facebook this summer, Kara Swisher is reporting, off to do a startup with Google App Engine founder Kevin Gibbs. Taylor confirmed the news in (of course) a Facebook update.

This is one of the first in a wave of Facebook departures we’re hearing, as a slew of older employees have hit their four year stock cliffs, and the 90 day IPO lockout fast approaches. According to a source, many Facebook employees including one other executive are already planning what to do next.

It makes sense. With the stock price low, additional RSUs granted to keep people sticking around won’t be nearly as good a retention mechanism.

I’ve also been hearing separately that due to the IPO fallout, Facebook is currently under a modified hiring freeze, with groups that were previously allotted slots for senior-level positions having had those slots reneged. Lower level deals and hires are still happening from what I’m hearing.

So is this a harbinger of a hiring sea change? Facebook has had a monopoly on the best and brightest engineering talent for the past couple of years and it’ll shake the Valley to its core if this is indeed the case.

Well, if the founder life isn’t for you future Facebook refugee, we hear Pinterest is hiring.

Image via Bret Taylor