Facebook Says General Counsel is Leaving

Facebook’s top lawyer Ted Ullyot is leaving the social networking giant, apparently to take some time off.

Ted Ullyot declined to tell of his next plans after leaving the social network but is most likely to take some vacation and relocate. Photo: Deepak Bansal/Flickr

Facebook Inc. on Friday said the company’s general counsel Ted Ullyot is leaving the social network.

Ullyot, 45, will be officially gone in July; the search for his replacement will include internal and external candidates.

After five years of working for the social networking Giant Facebook, Ted Ullyot is leaving the company, as he was helping to guide the social-networking service through an initial public offering a year ago.

Ted Ullyot is the company’s first general counsel, head lawyer and Vice President.

“Ted has been a valued member of Facebook’s leadership who built our legal team through an intense 5-year period in which we faced complex and high-stakes legal issues of all types. We wish him the best of luck in the future,” Facebook spokesperson Tucker Bounds said in an interview.

Theodore W. Ullyot, also known as Ted, graduated as magna cum laude in Harvard University and also attended law in the University of Chicago, joined Facebook as the company’s first general counsel in October 2008 and was one of the then young company’s first “grown-ups.”

In that time, Facebook has grown from 500 people to 5,000 and from 100 million to over one billion active users.

The executive leads Facebook’s legal team and has served as the company’s first line of defense against an expanding onslaught of litigious parties, including the one-time patent-crazed Yahoo, the disgruntled Winklevoss brothers, and more recently shareholders irate over how Facebook handled its initial public offering, reports CNEt.

He also assisted Facebook negotiate countless privacy issues as the social network has expanded to more than 1 billion active users.

He was no stranger to the challenges of leading the legal department of a public company, having served as general counsel of AOL-Time Warner.

He has worked at the top of the public sector, too, serving as White House counsel and chief of staff to U.S. attorney general Alberto Gonzales during the Bush administration.

Previously, he was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and served as chief of staff at the U.S. Justice Department and as a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush.

It is not clear what he will do next, but sources said he does not have another job lined up as of yet.

According to securities filings, Ullyot holds restricted stock units which vest over time and would be worth about $35 million based on Friday’s share price. That total includes a grant earlier this week worth almost $5 million, says the Recorder.

According to Headlines & Global News, Other Facebook employees are also leaving since May 2012 after the initial public offering.

On Thursday, it was also announced that Bubba Murarka, who was head of product for the Android operating system at Facebook and spearheaded the social network’s Home project, has joined Draper Fisher Jurveston as general partner and managing director.

This is not the first time that Facebook has lost quite large employees.

In 2009, the company went through an extensive turnover when Sheryl Sandberg, from Google, joined the team and restructured the management of the social networking site.

Facebook is currently hiring where 23 positions related to operations, communications, business improvement and other areas from their career page are already removed.

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