Mike Isaac

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With Three Key Exits, Facebook’s Top Talent Departures Continue

The question on everyone’s minds after Facebook’s May IPO — How long till the brain drain starts?

Apparently, not that long. Ethan Beard, director of platform partnerships at Facebook, announced on Wednesday via Facebook that he will soon leave the company. Shortly thereafter, platform marketing director Katie Mitic also announced her departure from the company.

If that wasn’t enough, a third announcement came on Wednesday, as mobile platform marketing manager Jonathan Matus also announced his impending departure from the social networking giant.

Beard has been at Facebook for more than four years, and has been in charge of developing relationships with some of the top app makers that work with the company. Similarly, Mitic and Matus worked on the marketing side of platform, with Matus’ emphasis on mobile.

“I’ve had the pleasure of helping build an ecosystem of incredible developers from innovative startups and established companies,” Beard wrote on his Timeline. He names no specific successor to his role, but rattles off a list of other Facebook execs who will handle platform in the future, including Dan Rose, Justin Osofsky, Sean Ryan, Douglas Purdy, David Fisch and Chris Daniels.

As you’d expect, Mitic and Matus offered similar pleasant sendoffs in their own Facebook posts.

The announcements come as another in a string of high-profile departures, including CTO Bret Taylor’s June announcement that he would leave to form his own start-up, and, as TechCrunch reported, the departure of Open Graph product manager Carl Sjogreen in July. Top Facebook PR director Barry Schnitt left the company in May, taking a new role leading communications for Pinterest.

It’s worrisome for outsiders — particularly investors — who fear the loss of top Facebook talent after the company went public. If Facebook loses too many good minds to other, smaller companies, it could face what all growing companies dread — a stall in company innovation and proper leadership.

Beard has announced no specific plans, outside of eventually starting a “new venture” of his own in the future. Matus and Mitic are similarly vague, although Mitic announced plans to work on her own mobile startup.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle