In spite of a recent 72% increase in Facebook’s revenue to $2.5 billion, its chief financial officer, David Ebersman is stepping down.
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It was announced on April 23d, as part of Facebook’s first quarter earnings report, that David Ebersman will be leaving the company at the end of August in order to return to work in his preferred field of healthcare.
David E. Ebersman was first appointed the chief financial officer of Facebook in Spetember 2009 after serving for four years in the same position with Genetech Biotechnology Corporation where he had worked for fourteen years. He currently manages Facebook’s finance, accounting, investor relations and real estate divisions. He was also integral in Facebook’s acquisition of both Instagram and WhatsApp.
Mr. Ebersman has also served as a member of the board of directors of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. since July 2009 and Castlight Health Inc. since July 2011. He is a fellow of the Henry Crown Fellowship Program.
David Ebersman graduated with an A.B. in economics and international relations from the prestigious Ivy League Brown University in Rhode Island in 1991.
With a base salary of only $384, 423, Ebersman received almost $10 million in compensation last year mostly from stock. This was down from $17.5 million the year before.
But last December Ebersman sold almost 5% of his stake in the company for an estimated $26.2 million. A month earlier he sold $42.6 million worth of his shares in Facebook in what was described at the time as the largest such divestment in a company by its CFO in a decade. He currently holds almost $50 million in Facebook shares.
Last fall, before his stock sales, David Ebersman made a shocking announcement to Facebook’s investors in which he said that the company had a decline in its corps customer base, teenagers. This statement led to a 15% drop in the company’s share price.
Facebook’s ad revenue recently surged by 82% on as a result of the company’s new mobile device applications, but Ebersman said that it would be difficult for them to maintain such numbers in the long term.
David Wehner, Facebook’s current vice president of corporate finance, will replace Ebersman as CFO on June 1st.
Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “David has been a great partner in building Facebook, and I’m grateful for everything he’s done to help make the world more open and connected. David set us up to operate efficiently and make the long term investments we need, and built an incredibly strong team including Dave Wehner, our next CFO. I look forward to working with Dave in his new role.”
In a statement about his departure Ebersman said, “This was a tough decision because Facebook is such a great company and has such a bright future ahead, but I’ve decided to move back into healthcare where I spent my career before Facebook. It’s been a privilege working at Facebook and being part of such a great team.
My decision is a personal one based on my desire to get back into health care, where I spent my entire career before Facebook.”
Ironically, Ebersman’s own Facebook profile is open only to friends and has only 28 followers.