Facebook exec Owen Van Natta to step down

The former COO and current chief revenue officer said in an interview with All Things D that he was planning his exit.

This post was updated at 7:06 PM PT to reflect Facebook's comment.

Owen Van Natta, Facebook's chief revenue officer and vice president of operations, has announced his departure from the social network.

Van Natta told All Things D's Kara Swisher in an interview on Tuesday that he plans to seek a CEO position at another company--the identity of which he's not sure of yet. At Facebook, Van Natta had been chief operating officer until an executive reshuffling last summer placed him (some would say it was a demotion) into his present role. He had been at Facebook since September 2005, long before its meteoric rise in popularity last year.

This is a likely indicator that Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, just shy of his 24th birthday, will not step aside anytime soon as some critics have suggested . The 38-year-old Van Natta had been one of the most visible "adults" on Facebook's young team, having been Amazon.com's vice president of worldwide business and corporate development after founding its A9.com search site, and was likely looking to take the helm at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based site.

Facebook released a statement to the press on Tuesday: "Over the next few weeks, Owen Van Natta will be transitioning out of his role at Facebook to pursue other opportunities," the comment read. "As Chief Revenue Officer and previously Chief Operating Officer, he has been instrumental in building out the core infrastructure of the company and has been key to building Facebook's Microsoft relationship. He also recruited some great executives in sales and business development and has been an influential part of the management team. The company is very grateful for the contributions Owen has made to Facebook and looks forward to working with him again in the future."

Additionally, the statement continued, there will be an ongoing executive restructuring. "We will be actively adding key people across the company in the coming weeks and months. Facebook is also naming Matt Cohler, previously Vice President of Strategy and Operations, to Vice President of Product Management. Matt will be responsible for overseeing product development and working closely with the engineering organization at Facebook."

 

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