One of Facebook's longest serving execs is leaving to become a startup investor
During his eight years at Facebook Vernal was instrumental in creating some of the company's most important services, including the Facebook login, the mobile app install ads and social pluggins that expanded elements of Facebook's social network to third party websites.
As head of search, Vernal was overseeing one of the big efforts on Facebook's 10-year roadmap, which will pit the company against search superpower Google.
Vernal joined Facebook in 2008 when the company's audience was a little more than 50 million users. Facebook now counts more than 1.5 billion users.
Even in those early days, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was already aiming high, according to a farewell post that Vernal posted on his Facebook page on Monday:
In one of my first company meetings, Mark casually mentioned what we'd need to do "when we hit a billion people."
At the time, I thought this was ludicrous. Let's get to 100 million first, right?
It took me a while to really internalize the boldness of Mark's vision -- to connect the entire world. Not fifty million people. Not a hundred million. The whole thing. To get everyone on the internet and to give them the power to share anything with anyone.
Vernal will join Sequoia as a partner in May, where he'll work with founders across a broad range of startup companies, with a focus on consumer and developer tech. Sequoia said in a statement that Vernal's "experience scaling engineering, product, and design teams at Facebook will be invaluable to Sequoia founders working to build similarly transformative companies."
Facebook sent the following statement: "Mike Vernal has been an integral part of the Facebook team for 8 years. While we're sad to lose him, we're happy for him to take the next step in his career and wish him all the best."
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