Facebook's chief financial officer, Gideon Yu, has left the company, which has already launched a search for a replacement with some "public company experience." That, in turn, has revived discussions about Facebook's future, including an eventual IPO.
In a Wall Street Journal report, a source said the company expects sales to increase 70% this year and expects to be cash-flow positive in 2010. CNET reports that the company had been looking to raise additional funds to help with the costly hardware investments needed to support its rapid growth but that Yu was having a hard time generating interest in additional investments.
The Boomtown blog cites sources who say that Yu's departure stemmed from a "strained relationship" with founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg "over a series of strategic disagreements over a wide range of issues from increasing ad revenue to fundraising discussions with investors." Said one source quoted in the blog: "At Facebook, you're either with Mark or you're not. And, if you're not, you leave."
Yu's departure comes less than two years after he left Google to join the company.
Facebook's official statement:
Facebook confirms that CFO Gideon Yu will be leaving the company. Gideon has played an important role in helping us achieve our financial success, building a strong finance team and establishing the core financial operations of our company. We are grateful to Gideon for his contributions to Facebook and what we are trying to accomplish.
Despite the poor economic climate, we are pleased that our financial performance is strong and we are well positioned for the next stage of our growth. We have retained Spencer Stuart to lead our search for a new CFO and will be looking for someone with public company experience.