Friday, June 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm.

Facebook CTO Bret Taylor leaves for startup

This doesn’t look great for Facebook, but it’s the reality for talented people in Silicon Valley these days: Anyone not named Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg can’t be expected to stick around Facebook for more than a few years. There’s simply too much opportunity to go out on your own right now. (Taylor’s last startup, Friendfeed, wasn’t a huge hit. But he is a super-talented guy. So of course he was going to try again eventually.)

Under Taylor’s watch, Facebook has been solid as far as web performance goes. Given its incredible growth, that’s impressive. And one of Facebook’s best strengths has been its ability to continue improving despite important people leaving the company.

But on mobile specifically, Facebook needs to get its act together. One of the big reasons people stopped using Friendster and MySpace is that they were slow while Facebook was super fast. But today, on my iPhone and iPad, Facebook’s app is embarrassingly slow. (Meanwhile, Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare are generally very fast.) This is not okay. If Facebook is going to keep its lead in mobile, it needs to do much better, both in terms of product and performance. Let’s hope Taylor’s mobile successor Cory Ondreijka can make some progress.

Also: Facebook’s Mobile Problem Isn’t Ads — It’s The Product