Facebook head of communications Caryn Marooney is leaving for greener pastures, she announced today, on Facebook of course. She joins the growing number of executives and high-level employees departing the company during and after what may be its toughest year.
“I spent a lot of time over the winter holiday reflecting, and with the New Year, and after 8 years at Facebook, I’ve decided to step down as leader of the communications group,” Marooney wrote. “I’ve decided it’s time to get back to my roots: going deep in tech and product.”
She thanked CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, with whom she worked closely. The former commented to thank Marooney “for the dedication and brilliance you have brought to Facebook over the years.”
Certainly she saw Facebook during a period of intense growth and transition, though arguably the company’s entire history has been marked by those traits. But 2011’s Facebook was remarkably smaller and less complex — operationally, ethically, and legally — so to have gone from that middle stage to the present must certainly have been quite a ride.
Marooney is just the latest in what seems like a constant of high-profile departures over the last year:
- April: WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum
- June: VP of comms and public policy Elliot Schrage
- July: Chief legal officer Colin Stretch (who technically left in December)
- August: Chief security officer Alex Stamos; VP of partnerships Dan Rose; VP of comms Rachel Whetstone
- September: Instagram co-founders CEO Kevin Systrom and CTO Mike Krieger
- October: Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe
- November: WhatsApp chief business officer Neeraj Arora
Obviously in a large company there’s going to be turnover. But an average of one a month seems like a lot.
There’s no indication Marooney left because of any acute cause other than wanting to move on to the next thing. It’s just that a lot of people seem to be doing it at the same time.