The Guy Who Invented Your Facebook News Feed Just Quit FacebookS

The news feed, so ubiquitous that we don't even need to capitalize it, is an internet staple. We stare at it daily—maybe too much—and it's a fundamental part of Facebook. Today, the brain behind the feed is leaving.

Bret Taylor co-founded a small company called FriendFeed—which was absorbed by the Zuck Mothership in 2009, making Taylor Facebook's Chief Technology Officer, and creating the live-updating, information-festooned feed we know today. Now he's out. He announced the civil departure in a (Facebook) message this afternoon:

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.

This is a bad guy to lose (oh hey, he co-created Google Maps, too) at a very bad time for The Book (see: stock market). The man in charge of technology at a technology company is a valuable man indeed (FriendFeed created the "Like" button, my God!), and Taylor's talents formed an integral part of what we go to Facebook for daily, having overseen its massive ascendency. He's an ideas guy. Facebook needs new ideas. Of course, it's not like the news feed will shut down or anything, but it's certainly a significant passing, and a big hole to plug. [AllThingsD]

Photo courtesy of Bret Taylor's Facebook profile