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Facebook CTO Bret Taylor departing for new start-up

Facebook will soon be losing a high-profile member of its executive, as Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor today announced his intent to leave the company later this summer.

Kara Swisher at AllThingsD was first to break the story of Taylor’s pending departure, reporting that he is leaving to form a new start-up. Taylor is no stranger to the world of start-ups; he left a previous job at Google to found FriendFeed, which you will recall was acquired by Facebook back in 2009.

Speaking to AllThingsD today, Taylor noted that he had planned to leave Facebook from the beginning – a plan CEO Mark Zuckerberg was apparently well aware of.

“I had always been upfront with Mark that I eventually wanted to do another start-up,” he told Swisher. “And we felt now is the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that.”

Facebook has been under intense investor and media scrutiny as of late thanks to their rocky IPO last month. Taylor’s departure will certainly be cause for concern to some, as he was in charge of platform and mobile – two pivotal verticals for the company. Taking over the head roles in these divisions will be two members of Taylor’s team: Mike Vernal and Cory Ondreijka will head-up platform and mobile, respectively.

Vernal came to Facebook from Microsoft in 2008, and in his time at the company has worked on the development of the Open Graph, and led the original Facebook Connect project. Ondreijka has been at Facebook since 2010, having previously worked at Walletin – another Facebook acquisition – as well as Linden Labs and Second Life.

Here is Taylor’s original Facebook post announcing his departure.

I wanted to let you all know that I’ll be leaving Facebook later this summer. I’m sad to be leaving, but I’m excited to be starting a company with my friend Kevin Gibbs.

While a transition like this is never easy, I’m extremely confident in the teams and leadership we have in place. I’m very proud of our recent accomplishments in our platform and mobile products, from Open Graph and App Center to Facebook Camera and our iOS integration. I’m even more excited for the world to see all the amazing things these teams have coming.

I’ve learned more than I ever imagined in my time at Facebook. I’m also extremely grateful for my relationship with all of the amazing people I’ve worked with here.

I want to give a special thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. You’ve not only been my boss for the past three years, but my mentor and one of my closest friends.

Thanks to all of you at Facebook for the most incredible three years of my life.