Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Facebook Loses Earliest Remaining Employee, Kevin Colleran

Kevin Colleran, Facebook’s longest-tenured employee and its first advertising salesperson, will leave the company early next month after six and a half years.

Colleran, who has worked at Facebook longer than anyone except Mark Zuckerberg, said he did not have immediate plans post-Facebook besides taking time off and traveling.

Colleran added that he will remain involved in the industry, with advisory roles at Causes, My Basis and Buddy Media. And for good measure, “I also hope to eventually do some additional angel investing as well as potentially some consulting, public speaking, and non-profit work,” he said.

“My journey at Facebook has been incredible and I am very grateful for Mark, Sheryl [Sandberg], and the rest of the team for giving me such an amazing opportunity,” Colleran said in an email. “I take a lot of pride in having been Facebook’s most tenured employee (after Mark) as well as the first member of Facebook’s advertising sales team.”

A spokesperson for Facebook said today, “Kevin played an instrumental role in building Facebook’s advertising business from the ground up. We’re sad to see him go and wish him all the best.”

Facebook’s ad sales team is now led by Carolyn Everson, who replaced long-time VP of Global Sales Mike Murphy. Meanwhile, Colleran’s title is “global sales lead.”

Colleran’s tenacity as a salesperson was detailed in David Kirkpatrick’s book The Facebook Effect, which described him as “a gung-ho cold-caller who could get in almost any door.”

Kirkpatrick reported that Colleran’s first big ad deal at Facebook was a user-acquisition buy by Party Poker, which brought in $60,000 per month (but was dropped due to online gambling regulations). Colleran also led efforts to create sponsored Facebook groups, which eventually became Facebook Pages. An early promotion that Colleran put together targeted Crest White Strips to college kids by offering them Matthew McConaughey movie tickets and the chance to win a concert at their school if they became members of a sponsored group.

Other significant recent or planned Facebook employee departures include VP of Growth, Mobile and International Chamath Palihapitiya and VP of Technical Operations Jonathan Heiliger.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik