Four high-level Facebook officials resign in the past week

All indicated that they liked working at Facebook, but want to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities

Facebook has confirmed that four high-ranking managers are moving on from the company, news that will fuel speculation that the social networking giant may suffer a talent drain in the wake of its IPO.

Asked for comment, a Facebook spokeswoman said on Thursday that Ethan Beard, director of platform partnerships; Kate Mitic, platform marketing director; Jonathan Matus, mobile platform marketing manager; and Ben Blumenfeld, design manager, have all in the past week or so resigned from the company.

The spokeswoman declined further comment, but each official addressed their departure from the company on Facebook and blog posts. In those public posts, the officials indicated that, while they enjoyed their time at Facebook, they are ready for new, more exciting challenges.

In a public Facebook post on Aug. 1, Beard said that he had decided to leave Facebook "with mixed emotions" after almost five years, but that he is proud of his team and their work, and is confident that he is leaving the company's application platform in "good hands."

Beard, who prior to Facebook worked at Google between 2003 and 2008, where he was director of new business development, didn't specify what he plans to do next but refers to it as his "next adventure."

Also in a public post the same day, Mitic said that after two "amazing" years at Facebook, she's moving on to work on a mobile startup company she's launching based in Palo Alto, California.

Matus sounded a similar note, saying in his post that "the time has come to embark on a new road, a new adventure. I've decided to leave Facebook to explore new directions and entrepreneurial ideas."

And on Wednesday, Blumenfeld said that, after a very satisfying run with Facebook since 2007, he's moving on to the Designer Fund, an angel fund for designers he co-founded. The Designer Fund seeks to support entrepreneurial designers whose businesses aim to have positive social impact.

"When looking at what I wanted in the next phase of my career I came up with needs like the desire for growth beyond design, to create something from scratch, to be an entrepreneur, and to help the broader design community," he wrote in a blog post.

If these four departures represent a larger trend on its staff, Facebook may need to make some changes to retain high-ranking managers that, in this post-IPO era for the company, are lured away by what they consider more challenging and rewarding opportunities with smaller companies and startups.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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