Kara Swisher

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Ben Ling to Leave Facebook

Earlier this afternoon, sources told BoomTown that Ben Ling (pictured here) was leaving his job at Facebook, a high-profile departure given that the social-networking company grabbed the well-known techie from Google (GOOG).

Ling and Facebook have since confirmed the departure to me.

At Facebook, Ling has been director of platform product marketing. He told his staff today of his plans to leave the company.

While some sources speculated that Ling was perhaps unhappy with the installation of uber-PR guru (and also ex-Googler) Elliot Schrage over Ling and others in the key platform arena recently, Ling was adamant that this was not the case.

Ling, in an interview today by phone, said: “I have huge respect for Elliot and work well with him.”

Ling would not be specific as to his reasons for leaving the hot social network, but he said he was pursuing “another opportunity.”


He added that “Facebook is a tremendous organization, and I would not leave it if it were not for a great opportunity.”

Facebook has seen the departure of several key executives over the last few months, for a variety of reasons. Those who have gone include: VP of Product Management Matt Cohler, who is leaving soon to become a venture capitalist at Benchmark Capital, and former CTO Adam D’Angelo, who left in May to take time off.

Here is Facebook’s official statement on the Ling departure:

“Facebook confirms that Ben Ling will be leaving the company in the coming weeks to pursue other interests. We wish him well and appreciate his great contributions to the early success of Facebook Platform. Platform is poised for continued growth and success, and the company is on track to deliver the range of major initiatives announced last month at f8, including Facebook Connect, fbFund and the Great Apps and Application Verification programs. Each of these programs have a strong team of professionals focused on attracting the best developers to Facebook Platform, helping developers succeed on Platform, and helping users find and enjoy great applications on Facebook.”

The most excellent Eric Eldon of VentureBeat was also on the Ling-leaving trail and did a post that includes a lot of great reporting on Facebook’s platform too.