In the past few months Facebook has seen many senior and important staff members resign. Bret taylor, Carl Sjogreen, Ben Blumenfeld, Ethan Beard, Katie Mitic and Jonathan Matus have left the company one after the other. Seemingly, they have all parted ways on good terms and their announcements on social media were reflective of that sentiment. In this article, we will explore the many reasons behind this recent development at the headquarters of the largest social media website in the world.
The first and foremost reason behind the resignation, as explained by the resignees, is that they are moving towards entrepreneurship. Some of the names mentioned in the first paragraph have not made clear their intentions for the future, whereas most have explained that they wish to start their own companies.
This could very well be connected to the expiration of the employee stock lock-ups. The Facebook stock has suffered, but many of these personnel have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth in stock. It can be speculated that those looking to start their own enterprises can now afford to do so, as they have the necessary investment at hand.
Another important factor, which is too relevant to not be related with the resignations, is of the Facebook market share. There are many articles available on how people are jumping ship from Facebook, how it is losing users every month and how trends in social media are changing. It is important to take into consideration that Facebook has seen little to no growth in market share in several regions of the world, and its acquisition of Instagram did not sit well with many segments in the market.
If we block out all the other factors, and only consider that Facebook growth has slowed down considerably and it has had to suffer loses, then it can be speculated that the senior staff members decided to quit while they were ahead. Maybe they thought they should cash out their stock and leave while the company was still successful, because they saw an inevitable decline ahead. Just to provide you with some facts, the number of Facebook users has declined by 1.1 percent in the US, and numbers from other regions are not looking good. The Facebook stock has gone down to below 28$.
At this point we would like to clarify that we are not generalizing all the former Facebook employees who quit. It is a strong possibility that each person who quit had an entirely unique and different reason. It is however a stronger possibility that these resignations are due to a common reason.
So whether it was a case of “I want to do my own thing now” or “let’s cash out before this goes downhill”, Facebook has suffered major loses. These were talented and experienced individuals who helped turn Facebook into a social media juggernaut, and such people cannot be easily replaced. The leadership at Facebook will have to take active measures to improve retention before this trend continues and they lose more people.