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Facebook promotes Bret Taylor to CTO

Formerly serving as director of platform, Taylor had been on board for almost a year since Facebook bought his previous start-up, FriendFeed.

Bret Taylor talks to CNET two years ago about FriendFeed's then meteoric rise. Screenshot by CNET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday that Director of Platform Bret Taylor has been promoted to chief technology officer--a position that the company had not previously counted among its ranks.

Taylor joined Facebook last summer when the company acquired his start-up FriendFeed, a social-media aggregator that was rife with ex-Google engineering talent and Silicon Valley early-adopter hype, but slow on mainstream uptake. Shortly after Taylor and his team joined Facebook, the company open-sourced the Tornado server, which powered FriendFeed's impressive real-time streaming capabilities.

The reasoning behind Taylor's promotion appears to be logistical, judging by an internal e-mail from Facebook that was conveniently forwarded to TechCrunch. "Bret has just a couple of direct reports and gets things done by being a helpful source of advice and positively influencing decisions on a number of products," the e-mail from Zuckerberg explained. "I've been talking with him recently about how he could play a similar role working with a few other areas to help shape our direction as well. Since Bret engages both in technical and product issues, I decided that creating a new CTO position outside of both engineering and product was the best way to formalize this new role." As CTO, Taylor will not have anyone reporting directly to him.

Prior to launching FriendFeed and selling it to Facebook, Taylor was part of the team at Google that released Google Maps.