Matt Kelly, Facebook’s Head of Growth Product, Is Leaving

Matt Kelly, who has spent the last two-plus years as the head of product at Facebook, has resigned from the company, he announced in a Facebook post to friends and family yesterday.

He tells us separately that he’s planning to travel to see friends and family and afterward, to get back in to the startup world.

Kelly had been with the company since November 2009, joining the (then much smaller) social networking giant as a product manager focused on its mobile platform. He later helped drive Facebook’s HTML5 strategy (a plan on which the company relied too heavily, CEO Mark Zuckerberg later said), before shifting into a role as product manager of Notifications.

Soon after, Kelly was promoted to his most recent position.

Earlier in his career, Kelly was a lead software engineer and product manager at a company called Large Animal Games, an independent developer based in New York. When the 13-year-old company wound down last year, Kelly fondly recalled in a Facebook post that he’d reached out to its founders while a student in Bowling Green, Ohio. “I had built a game for fun in high school and decided to pitch it to a variety of game developers to get it produced. Long story short, it landed me a job at Large Animal Games . . . where I grew from barely being able to write PHP to building most of the platform . . .”

His tribute to Facebook is similarly tinged with gratitude. He writes:

After 6 incredible years at Facebook it’s time for something new. I’m sad to be leaving, but very excited to plot my next adventure.

I’m fortunate to have been surrounded by the most talented product and business leaders that I’ve ever met. I’ve learned more than I ever imagined and grateful for my relationships with everyone here.

From surprisingly landing a role on Platform via IRC to having the opportunity to lead the Growth product team, I’m proud of all of our accomplishments. I’m confident in the teams we have in place on Growth and thrilled for the world to see all of the amazing things these teams have coming.

This is a phenomenal place and I feel lucky to have been a part of it. I’ll continue to cheer you on from the outside!