Google loses social media chief to Facebook

Google has lost its second high-profile executive to Facebook in a month, with the departure of its head of social media Ethan Beard.

Beard will join Facebook as director of business development, as the social media site founded by 23-year-old Mark Zuckerberg continues to boost its management team in its search for advertising revenues.

At Google, Beard worked on the company's lesser known social media website Orkut. His departure follows in the wake of colleague Sheryl Sandberg, who left Google in early March to become Facebook's chief operating officer.

Prior to joining Google, Beard headed up business development at MTV and VH1. He has also worked at high tech investment firms Silicon Alley Venture Partners and Fountainhead Capital.

Facebook has become the fastest growing social media website; while its growth has slowed recently, it is valued at $15bn and now has more than 500 staff.

Before appointing Beard and Sandberg, Facebook made a number of other high profile hires including Gideon Yu, the former chief financial officer at Google's YouTube, who was appointed as chief financial officer at Facebook in July last year.

In the same month, Chamath Palihapitiya, a former head of AOL's instant-messaging business, was appointed vice-president of product marketing and operations.

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