According to Jessica Vascellaro of the Wall Street Journal, Facebook’s Chief Financial Officer, Gideon Yu, is leaving the company. We wrote about Gideon Yu joining back in July of 2007, prior to the company raising $240 million from Microsoft. Since then, there have been rumors that Facebook is seeking more financing but so far no attempts have been successful.
Jessica Vascellaro speculates that Facebook “is stepping up plans” to go public “despite the rocky economy”. My guess is that it’s more related to Gideon Yu’s unsuccessful attempts at generating new rounds of funding. Whatever the reason behind the departure, it is bad timing considering that just 3 weeks ago, Net Jacobsson, the Director of Business Development at Facebook, left the company as well.
I’m sure that there will be substantial speculation over the rationale behind the departure especially considering that both executives’ roles were in some way tied to the revenue generating side of things. One interesting component of the Wall Street Journal article was that the company expects to be cash-flow positive in 2010.
Facebook advertising growth has also been relatively strong despite the down economy according to some sources. For now we’ll have to wait and see what revenue generating “tricks” Facebook has up its sleeve, but with the departure of the Chief Financial Officer and the Director of Business Development, you have to wonder if there are any more substantial revenue generating plans.
It’s difficult to say what really happened though without deeper insight into the internal workings of the company.