August 2, 2012, 11:24 AM

Three execs exit Facebook

The departures include Ethan Beard, who was director of platform partnerships.

Lead Photo

Ethan Beard, Facebook Inc.’s director of platform partnerships, announced yesterday on his Facebook timeline that he was leaving the social network.

In his role, Beard oversaw the social network’s relationships with developers. He encouraged retailers and other businesses to incorporate Facebook into their web sites via tools like social plug-ins and timeline applications. Those plug-ins are single lines of code a retailer can add to its site to incorporate Facebook features like its Like button. Applications are more sophisticated ways for retailers and consumers to share information using the social network. For instance, TheFind sends users of its application e-mails whenever products they’ve Liked on any e-commerce site go on sale.

Beard’s post was followed an hour later by two other Facebook executives—Katie Mitic, the social network’s platform marketing director,  and Jonathan Matus, its mobile platform marketing manager—posting on their timelines that they were leaving the company.

All three said they planned to embark upon entrepreneurial activities.

The announcements follow a number of other departures from Facebook that have taken place since the social network went public earlier this year, most notably, its chief technology officer Bret Taylor.

The departures come as Facebook faces scrutiny over its declining stock price. Since going public May 17, Facebook shares have fallen markedly. As of this morning its shares were down nearly half from its initial offering price to $38 to about $20.

While any resignation of high-level executives isn’t a good thing, the moves aren’t unexpected, says Lou Kerner, founder of the Social Internet Fund, an investor in social and mobile technology companies. “It is a natural progression in the lifecycle of technology companies, particularly those in Silicon Valley where opportunities are abundant,” he says. “However, Facebook remains the top choice to work at in Silicon Valley for those people who are looking for a tech experience with a rapidly growing, yet established, company.”

Facebook declined to comment on the resignations.

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