Pinterest’s Engineering Lead Jon Jenkins Leaves To Launch His Own Startup

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Jon Jenkins, who joined Pinterest a year ago as its head of engineering, is leaving the company in what he describes on Quora as a “bittersweet” decision. Jenkins says he wants to launch his own company, a wish he had even before he joined Pinterest. A representative from Pinterest told us that the company is now looking for Jenkins’ successor.

“Long before I made the decision to move to the Bay Area I had the spark of an idea brewing in the back of my mind,” Jenkins wrote. “Since being immersed in the startup rich environment of San Francisco that spark has grown into a flame and now is the time for me to see if I can turn that idea into a real business. In the coming months, I’ll be developing the concept and talking with investors about how to build an entirely new business. I’m really excited for what lies ahead for both Pinterest and myself!”

Jenkins also said that during his year at Pinterest, the company’s engineering team has more than tripled in size. New features launched include place pins, a localized Japanese site, its first API for partners and new versions of its Android and iOS apps.

In a statement, Pinterest said “We’d like to thank JJ for his contribution to Pinterest and wish him all the best on his next project. We feel fortunate to have leaders within engineering who are ready to step up and run the organization while we recruit for a permanent head of engineering.”

Before joining Pinterest, Jenkins served as Amazon’s engineering lead for eight years and led the team responsible for the Silk browser on the Kindle Fire. He was also director of development tools, director of platform analysis and director of website platform. Jenkins’ hire was a sign that Pinterest, which has three non-technical co-founders, was starting to get serious about the technical challenges of building up its site’s infrastructure.