Randi Zuckerberg to leave Facebook to start social media firm

The company's marketing director--who's also the sister of CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg--is leaving Facebook after six years to start a new-media firm to help companies become more social.

Randi Zuckerberg, who is director of marketing at Facebook and also the sister of CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, is leaving the company after six years to start a new-media firm to help companies become more social.

In her resignation letter, which is below in its entirety, Zuckerberg said:

"I have spent my years at Facebook pouring my heart and soul into innovating and pushing the media industry forward by introducing new concepts around live, social, participatory viewing that the media industry has since adopted. We have made incredible progress, but there is still much to be done and other ways I can affect change. Now is the perfect time for me to move outside of Facebook to build a company focused on the exciting trends underway in the media industry."

Facebook confirmed the departure and in a statement said: "We can confirm Randi has decided to leave Facebook to start her own company. We are all grateful for her important service."

There was no comment from Mark Zuckerberg directly.

The company Randi Zuckerberg is creating is apparently called RtoZ Media, which is obviously a play on her name.

The move is likely to be much noticed, since Randi Zuckberberg has been at Facebook since its early days and has also been a high-profile and charismatic personality both inside the social-networking company and in Silicon Valley. She has been on maternity leave for last three months, after having her first child, and sources said she has told them that being away from the rapid-fire pace at Facebook has given her time to reflect on what she wants to do in the next phase of her career.

Presumably, leaving Facebook will give Zuckerberg greater freedom to work for a range of companies without a conflict. That said, it's unlikely she'll take on Google+ as a client.

Zuckerberg is certainly going out on a high note--she was recently nominated for an Emmy award in the category of live coverage of a current news event for her work on "Facebook Live," a real-time news show she created and hosted for the company.

Zuckerberg, who is definitely not a geek like her brother, noted in her letter to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and communications head Elliot Schrage: "I am thankful for the strong mentorship, guidance, and support, which is empowering me to follow my dreams and show that you don't have to be an engineer to be a hacker."

Here is the letter and also a video I did with her last year when Zuckerberg was covering the Golden Globes in Beverly Hills for Facebook early last year:

Randi Zuckerberg Letter 8.3.11

 

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