Facebook director of product Blake Ross is jumping ship

Blake Ross, Facebook’s long-time director of product, will soon be saying goodbye to the company to pursue “new things.”

Ross has been a force in the Bay Area for years. He got his first tech job at 14 working for Netscape. He was one of the cofounders of the popular Mozilla Firefox browser. Later, he joined Facebook when the social network acquired his stealth company Parakey back in 2007.

When he started his six-year stint at Facebook, he was an engineer. He eventually moved his way up to director of product.

He posted his goodbye note to friends and colleagues last night on Facebook. Ross’ humorous note (as obtained by TechCrunch) runs below:

Hey everyone, I’ve decided to leave Facebook. I’m so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and grow with you.

I’m leaving because a Forbes writer asked his son’s best friend Todd if Facebook was still cool and the friend said no, and plus none of HIS friends think so either, even Leila who used to love it, and this journalism made me reconsider the long-term viability of the company.

Also because, after scaling a website in a dorm room to a platform connecting a billion people in 196 countries through revolutionary high-efficiency auto-cooling datacenters, you guys will probably never figure out how to sell a Quiznos turkey club on a phone.

In all seriousness, even after switching to part-time at Facebook, it’s just time for me to try new things. I was 14 when I came to the Bay Area to work at Netscape (socially stunted badge pic below). That’s half my life building software in a 10-mile area of Northern California—a rather long stretch considering I spent the first half of my life learning disciplines as varied as standing up, eating, and getting Bar Mitzvahed.

My parting advice: Cherish the launch days. To be surrounded by such bright people, brimming with optimism, forgetting to eat, is a blessing. It’s the kind of manic hopefulness that adulthood is supposed to drain out of you, and I will miss it most.

Launch day is also a great day for Legal to find out what you’re launching.

Guys, thanks for everything. You’ve all brought a lot of joy to this stone cold heart.

Blake Ross photo via Blake Ross/Facebook


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