Facebook CTO Bret Taylor to leave, will start a new company

Facebook (s FB) chief technology officer Bret Taylor is going to leave the company later this year, he announced via his Facebook Timeline today. He is leaving Facebook to start a new company, he said on his timeline.

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.

Taylor, who is widely respected in the developer community arrived at Facebook via the acqusition of FriendFeed, a groundbreaking information aggregation platform. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in a statement said:

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Bret and getting to know him as a friend and teammate. I’m grateful for all he has done for Facebook and I’m proud of what he and his teams have built. I’m also proud that we have a culture where great entrepreneurs like Bret join us and have such a big impact.”

Taylor’s contribution to Facebook is often lost in the hype and noise around Zuckerberg. Taylor has been a key executive and has helped the company figure out its platform and Facebook Connect strategy. Taylor, who in a past life worked for Google, was involved with Google Maps before coming over to Facebook.

Taylor isn’t the first or the last of Facebook’s senior staff to leave the company. However, his exit is indeed is a bit of a shocker. I saw Taylor at the WWDC where he was representing Facebook. He didn’t even hint as much that he was leaving. Regardless, now we wait to see what he comes up with next.