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Facebook Faces Brain Drain

If a company is only as fit as its talent, then Facebook's getting a little flabby.

Three Facebook executives announced their exits on Wednesday -- the latest in a string of departures, which come at a critical period for the social network.

The three soon-to-be-ex-employees include Ethan Beard, director of platform partnerships at Facebook; platform marketing director Katie Mitic; and -- perhaps most painful for the social network -- mobile platform marketing manager Jonathan Matus.

“It’s worrisome for outsiders -- particularly investors -- who [feared] the loss of top Facebook talent after the company went public,” writes AllThingsD. “If Facebook loses too many good minds to other, smaller companies, it could face what all growing companies dread -- a stall in company innovation and proper leadership.”

Facebook is officially experiencing what The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog calls a “post-IPO exodus. Once employees can liquidate their holdings in an IPO, companies frequently experience a ‘brain drain’ in talent,” it writes. “At the same time, many of them receive offers to join other companies.”



What else explains the drain? “Facebook, as the key driver of the great social media transformation happening in the economy, still offers employees challenging work environment,” writes VentureBeat. “However, it is reaching a size where the many curious and ambitious employees will inevitably navigate to smaller, more intimate companies where they can wield more influence.”

What do the exits mean for marketers? “We all have to be aware just how fragile the social media space really is,” writes Marketing Pilgrim. “If you are building your marketing around Facebook and it is becoming a majority of your time and effort, you need to think about what you would do if it were to take a turn for the worse.”

“While investors may be worried that some Facebook veterans are leaving, they should be pleased that [CEO Mark] Zuckerberg isn’t scrambling to replace them from outside,” TechCrunch notes. “Now more than ever, Facebook needs employees who understand the ethos of the product it has built.”


1 comment about "Facebook Faces Brain Drain".
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  1. Kevin Lee from Didit, August 2, 2012 at 12:33 p.m.

    On the flipside, often those leaving a company will start businesses that thrive on the larger company ecosystem. This happened at Microsoft.
    Facebook is an API, platform and application-driven company. If those who depart start companies that tap the FB ecosystem it actually makes Facebook stronger.

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