Facebook CTO Bret Taylor is planning to leave the company for more entrepreneurial pursuits, Taylor announced Friday afternoon.
In a note posted to his Facebook page, Taylor said he was eager to begin work on another startup with his friend Kevin Gibbs, a senior staff software engineer at Google, on a yet-unnamed project.
“I had always been upfront with Mark that I eventually wanted to do another startup,” he said in an interview with AllThingsD‘s Kara Swisher, which was published at the same time as Taylor’s Facebook note. “And we felt it was the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that.”
Taylor has overseen Facebook’s platform and mobile products since he was promoted to CTO two years ago. Two executives who work under Taylor, Mike Vernal and Cory Ondreijka, will take over those products, respectively, Swisher reports.
Before Facebook, Taylor worked at Google for four years, where he co-developed Google Maps, Google Local and the Google Maps API. In mid-2007, he left Google to start social network Friendfeed, which he sold to Facebook in August 2009.
The announcement comes at a bad time for Facebook, whose stock price has steadily suffered since the company went public last month.
Facebook’s Road to IPO
2004: First Offers Turned Down
Facebook launches with humble beginnings that most people have seen dramatized in The Social Network by now. It was a small social site backed by only a little money, and limited just to the undergrads at Harvard. Right out of the gate, Facebook turned down offers from an unknown investor and Friendster, each offering $10 million. This was, of course, when the company was still called TheFacebook.
Image courtesy of Flickr.
2005: Serious Interest
By 2005, “TheFacebook” was becoming more and more interesting to potential investors. They waved off bids from the likes of NBC, The Washington Post Group, and two separate attempts from both MySpace and Viacom/MTV.
Image courtesy of wwwes; Flickr.
2006: Microsoft & Yahoo Come Calling
Facebook became more legitimized as it moved into more colleges, and then expanded to the public. Microsoft signed a large advertising deal with Facebook, an event that began a long, positive relationship between the two companies.
Just a month later, Yahoo made a $1 billion offer to buy Facebook, but it was rebuffed after Yahoo’s stock dropped and the company had to lower to $800 million.
Image courtesy Ludovic Toinel; Flickr.
2007: Forging an Alliance
After a lucrative advertising relationship, Microsoft invests heavily in Facebook, putting in $240 million for 1.6% stake in the company. This raised Facebook’s estimated worth to $15 billion, after only three years of existence. Despite this, Zuckerberg said the possibility of an IPO is “years out.”
2008: Valued at $4 Billion
In an interview with 60 Minutes in January, Mark Zuckerberg said there was no chance of a Facebook IPO that year. In August, Facebook gave itself a valuation of $4 billion, then began letting fully vested employees sell 20% of their stock based on that valuation.
Image courtesy of 60 Minutes.
2009: More Investment
Facebook gets $200 million investment from Russian Digital Sky, who bought 1.96% of the company with that. That investment raised Facebook’s valuation to $10 billion.
Two other estimates of wealth came out later in 2009 that lowered Facebook’s valuation, probably as more terms of the deal with Digital Sky became clear.
Image courtesy dborman; Flickr.
March 2010: Zuckerberg Talks IPO Rumors
Zuckerberg is still coy about an IPO, saying there is “no rush,” and proving that Facebook doesn’t need the money.
Image courtesy of JD Lasica; Flickr.
November 2010: Valuation Climbs
Trading on secondary markets suggests Facebook is the third most valuable web company in the United States. As private investors sold their stakes, valuations of the company soared as high as $56 billion.
Image courtesy Dan Farber; Flickr.
January 2011: First IPO Moves
Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies drop a massive $500 million cash infusion into Facebook, pushing its value upwards of $50 billion. According to USA Today, that valuation exceeds companies like eBay and Nike.
Facebook also launches an $1.5 billion equity offering through Goldman Sachs, letting some private investors buy a piece of Facebook.
Image courtesy of AMagill; Flickr.
June 2011: The $100 Billion IPO?
Reports circulate that Facebook’s IPO could exceed $100 billion, and that it might go public during the first quarter of 2012.
Image courtesy of Andrew Feinberg; Flickr.
January 2012: IPO Imminent
Facebook halted trading of its shares in secondary markets for three days starting Jan. 25, a possible indicator the company’s long-awaited IPO is coming soon.
The signs were correct, as Facebook announced its IPO on Feb. 1, ending the stream of speculation.
Image courtesy J. Fudyama-Powers; Flickr.
Facebook announced it was purchasing popular photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 billion in April. The deal was reportedly brokered by Zuckerberg himself, and was a major acquisition for the company.
May 2012: Facebook Goes Public
Facebook is set to go public May 18, and the IPO could raise $90 to $104 billion. No one can be sure until trading closes though.
Image modified, courtesy Robert Scoble, Flickr.