[By Sudarshana Banerjee]

Facebook CTO Bret Taylor is leaving the social networking site, to start his own outfit. Joining him in his endeavors will be friend, former Google colleague, and fellow Stanford-alumnus, Kevin Gibbs.

Mr. Gibbs is currently senior staff software engineer and manager at Google. Mr. Gibbs was founder and tech lead of Google App Engine, and creator of Google Suggest. Mr. Taylor was CEO of FriendFeed prior to joining Facebook. In his previous avatars, he was also entrepreneur in residence with Benchmark Capital and group product manager with Google.

Further details of the start up are not available at the moment.

Mr. Taylor was with Facebook for three years; and in a note posted on his Facebook Wall gives special thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, calling him his mentor and one of his closest friends, besides being his boss. The talent loss will be a blow to Facebook, already under pressure after a turbulent IPO, to jazz up its performance and revenue streams.

I wanted to let you all know that I’ll be leaving Facebook later this summer. I’m sad to be leaving, but I’m excited to be starting a company with my friend Kevin Gibbs.

While a transition like this is never easy, I’m extremely confident in the teams and leadership we have in place. I’m very proud of our recent accomplishments in our platform and mobile products, from Open Graph and App Center to Facebook Camera and our iOS integration. I’m even more excited for the world to see all the amazing things these teams have coming.

I’ve learned more than I ever imagined in my time at Facebook. I’m also extremely grateful for my relationship with all of the amazing people I’ve worked with here.

I want to give a special thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. You’ve not only been my boss for the past three years, but my mentor and one of my closest friends.

Thanks to all of you at Facebook for the most incredible three years of my life.

[Image Courtesy: Mr. Brett Taylor]