Facebook has been dealt yet another blow as three of its top executives have announced they are quitting the social networking company.
Director of platform partnerships, Ethan Beard, director of platform marketing, Katie Mitic, and mobile platform marketing manager, Jonathan Matus, have handed in their resignations.
They are just the latest top-ranking employees to quit the San Francisco-based company, which has lost a handful of execs following its poorly received IPO in May and tumbling share prices
Their announcements – shared on their Facebook pages – come after the high-profile exits of chief technology officer Bret Taylor in June, and Open Graph product manager Carl Sjogreen last month.
‘It is with mixed emotions that I’m letting you all know that I’ve decided to leave Facebook to seek my next adventure,’ Beard wrote on his Facebook page.
‘I’m exceptionally proud of the team we’ve built and the work we’ve done and I’m incredibly enthusiastic about the future of Facebook… and know that I’m leaving it in the good hands.’
Mitic, who will be working at a mobile startup, wrote: ‘After an amazing two years at Facebook, it’s time to start my next entrepreneurial adventure. I’m so grateful to have met, learned from and worked with the incredible people here.’
The resignations, which come as Facebook struggles with plummeting share prices, will only serve to rattle the company further.
It lost a staggering $157 million in the second quarter of this year and saw shares, which were released in a highly-anticipated IPO in May, fall to $20.72 from their $38 starting price.
Last week, shares hit an all-time low of $19.82 after the company posted its disappointing earnings.
Facebook’s initial valuation has plummeted from $100 billion to $43.5 billion, while CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw his personal fortune collapse from $13.7 billion to $10 billion over the last fortnight.
But the company has defended the drain of talent, pointing out that new employees are joining the company on a weekly basis, which constantly helps the development of ideas.
‘We’re fortunate to have many, many talented people join the company each week, and we believe this will serve us well over the long run,’ Facebook spokesman Larry Yu said in a statement.
Social-media analyst Greg Sterling warned that Silicon Valley is rife with start ups, and many Facebook employees are going on to begin their own companies.
‘Start-up junkies get restless after a few years,’ Sterling told USA Today. ‘This is not a time to lose top talent. That is Facebook’s challenge.’
These fledgling departures are definitely true of Facebook; Beard worked at the company for four years, yet Mitic was there for two years and Matus only lasted one.
Mitic and Matus likely received stock before the IPO and will keep it despite their departures; they could be betting the stock will not gain so much value over the next couple of years that they will miss out on a large payout, USA Today reported.
While Facebook has suffered devastating losses, the day most investors are bracing for is November 14, when more than 1.2 billion shares will suddenly be available for trading.
The imminent lock-up expiration also means that Wall Street analysts who participated in the Facebook IPO will once again go quiet, for a 30-day period, potentially creating more uncertainty.
‘The sentiment on this thing is so negative,’ said Topeka Capital Markets analyst Victor Anthony. ‘I think this thing may continue to tick down until you see some sort of meaningful catalyst which unfortunately may not show until third-quarter earnings.’