Fast-growing social network site Facebook named former YouTube Chief Financial Officer Gideon Yu as its new CFO, replacing prior finance chief Michael Sheridan, in the latest step toward a potential IPO.
Yu, 36, became chief financial officer of video-sharing sensation YouTube in September of last year, shortly before the company was acquired by Google in a $1.65 billion deal.
The Palo Alto-based start-up, which has rebuffed potential acquirers among top Internet players in favor of remaining an independent company, did not disclose the reasons why Sheridan, a veteran Silicon Valley executive, was leaving Facebook.
Facebook officials declined to comment on the changes.
The company, which was started in 2004 by then-undergraduate Mark Zuckerberg, now 23, as a social site for fellow Harvard University students, has opened up over the past year to users of all ages.
Facebook, which allows users to share their online activities with a circle of friends on personal Web profile pages, said it had 30 million active members earlier in July, up from 24 million less than 2 months earlier.
Prior to joining YouTube, Yu was treasurer of Yahoo
Previously, Sheridan was chief financial officer of IGN Entertainment, a gaming site that was acquired by News Corp.
Earlier this month, Facebook named Chamath Palihapitiya, 30 an investor with venture capital firm Mayfield Fund LP, as Facebook's vice president of product marketing and operations. Prior to joining Mayfield in 2005, Palihapitiya was general manager of AOL's AIM and ICQ instant messaging businesses.
The company has become a darling of Silicon Valley trend-watchers who see the site becoming a major player in the Internet industry, "the next Google" in the shorthand of some analysts here.
"Facebook has captured everyone's imagination," said Greg Sterling, an Internet analyst with Sterling Market Intelligence.