Facebook loses another executive

The director of product management resigns even as analysts say the company could be poised for a turnaround.

By Benzinga Jul 25, 2012 4:14PM
By Katey Stapleton, Benzinga Staff Writer

One of Facebook's top managers is leaving just as the social network prepares to announce its first quarterly results as a public company. Carl Sjogreen, director of product management, has decided to bow out with no public explanation of future plans.


Sjogreen is the third executive to leave the company since its initial public offering in May, and his departure comes at a time when Facebook is not in the finest public standing. Shareholders and analysts have been unimpressed by the Facebook IPO, and issues have plagued the company ever since it began trading on the Nasdaq.


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Chief technology officer Bret Taylor decided to terminate his employment with the company this summer to begin a new venture. The director of corporate communications and public policy, Barry Schnitt, left in May to fill a staple position at Pinterest.


According to TechCrunch, Sjogreen plans to take time off and will likely start "something" up in the future.


The website also reports that although Facebook's IPO was designed to give liquidity to long-time employees, that does not seem to be keeping Sjogreen and others from scurrying out the door.


Facebook and the stock market have not necessarily been the best of friends following its May 18 debut. From Nasdaq's computer malfunctions to lawsuits about sneaky insiders getting early financial information, the social network and its founder Mark Zuckerberg have certainly been dealt quite a few blows ever since hesitantly going public.


Company shares have plunged from their $38 IPO price; Wednesday, the stock was trading at $29.11.


Facebook is slated to release its quarterly earnings Thursday, and analysts are generally expecting moderate results that probably won't overwhelm. Analysts from Piper Jaffray believe Facebook will slightly surpass consensus expectations of $1.15 billion in revenue and 12 cents in per-share earnings.


"While we are not expecting a miss," the analysts wrote in a note Tuesday. "We believe that if Facebook were to miss earnings, the stock would be punished more than a typical earnings miss by a tech company, given it would come on the heels of the disappointing IPO."


The analysts added that they "continue to recommend shares of FB over 12 months based on our belief that the monetization of the site is still early and significant opportunities in impacting commerce remain."


With a turnaround potentially on the horizon, the executive departures may raise eyebrows. Sjogreen appeared to be leaving for more family time and adventure, and in his exit notice he thanked "Mark", presumably CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and other Facebook colleagues.


As longtime employees continue to stream from Facebook's headquarters in search of other opportunities, the company appears to be moving beyond its IPO drama. "Out with the old and in with the new" may become Zuckerberg's favorite saying over the next few months, as shareholders and analysts begin to reestablish their faith in the immensely popular networking platform.


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