June 18, 2012, 10:19 AM

Facebook’s chief technology officer will leave the social network

Bret Taylor will be the first high-profile defection since Facebook went public.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

Facebook Inc.’s chief technology officer Bret Taylor says he plans to leave the social network this summer to launch an undisclosed startup with Google executive Kevin Gibbs.

Taylor is the first high-profile defection from the social network since its initial public offering earlier this year.

In his two years as chief technology officer, Taylor oversaw a slew of changes at the social network, including recent developments in the Open Graph, a technology that lets actions consumers take on outside web sites or in mobile apps to flow into Facebook.

“While a transition like this is never easy, I’m extremely confident in the teams and leadership we have in place,” Taylor wrote in a Facebook post. “I’m very proud of our recent accomplishments in our platform and mobile products.” Among the accomplishments he noted was an integration with Apple Inc.’s iOS 6 mobile operating system that enables users to post to Facebook directly from iOS 6’s Notification Center, Siri and Facebook-enabled apps like Photos, Safari and Maps.

Taylor’s partner, Gibbs, had been at Google Inc. since 2004, according to his LinkedIn profile. At Google he launched and led the company’s Google App Engine project team, which is a platform-as-a-service offering that provides both hardware and basic resources to help retailers build their own applications. Retailers access the App Engine’s resources through the web to accomplish specific tasks such as rotating an image or sending e-mails to a list of addresses.

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