What Facebook’s first 15 employees are doing todayTarun Mittal
While Mark Zuckerberg is hailed as the creator of Facebook, the social media network would not be the massive company it is today if it wasn't for its employees. Especially the early joiners, who helped get it off the ground and among the pantheon of successful startups. The ones who helped turn a college student's idea into a $400+ billion empire. But many of Facebook's early employees ventured out on their own unique ways by becoming investors, joining other startups and even starting their own. Here's a compendium of Facebook's first 15 employees (including its founding team) and what they're up to now:
Dustin Moskovitz (co-founder)
Dustin Moskovitz was Facebook's first Chief Technology Officer and then Vice-President of Engineering. He left in 2008 and formed a collaboration and task management software company called Asana (of which he is still CEO) with Justin Rosenstein, who was working as an engineering manager at Facebook. Moskovitz, who is Forbes' youngest self-made billionaire, also co-founded a philanthropic organisation called Good Ventures in 2011. He is also an angel investor and has invested in companies like Quora, Venmo, Flipboard and Path.
Andrew McCollum (co-founder)
The limelight-shy Andrew McCollum had a brief tenure at Facebook during which he worked on a file-sharing program called WireHog with Adam D'Angelo - who would go on to become CEO and co-founder of Quora. Since leaving Facebook, McCollum has completed a master's degree from Harvard, co-founded an online resume preparation tool called JobSpice, and served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for two venture capital firms — New Enterprise Associates and Flybridge Capital Partners. He is also an angel investor and is currently serving as CEO of the TV streaming company Philo, having taken over the position from Christopher Thorpe in 2014.
Chris Hughes (co-founder)
Chris Hughes served Facebook as the company's spokesman until 2007. He left to volunteer with Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign where he developed its website and coordinated all its social media campaigns. Hughes was named Entrepreneur-in-Residence at a VC firm called General Catalyst Partners in 2009. A year later he co-founded a non-profit social network organization called Jumo, of which he is currently the executive director. In what has since been recognised as an ill-fated venture, Hughes purchased a majority stake in The New Republic in 2012 and served as the magazine's editor-in-chief until he sold it to Win McCormack in 2016.
As everyone who's seen The Social Network knows, Eduardo Saverin served as Facebook's Chief Financial Officer and business manager until his fractious departure from the company. Saverin, the first investor in Facebook, continued his career as an investor and has made 25 investments in 17 companies till date. He is the co-founder and partner at B Capital Group, a VC firm which operates in the US and Asia. Having lived in Singapore since 2009, Brazil-born Saverin renounced his American citizenship in 2011 and he currently heads the B Capital Group office in Singapore.
Famous for establishing the music-sharing platform Napster, Sean Parker is a serial entrepreneur and investor who's been a part of several ventures after ending his tenure as Facebook where he was an invaluable advisor and the company's first president. Parker has co-founded Plaxo, Causes, Airtime, WillCall and Brigade Media and serves on the board of several other companies which include Facebook, Spotify and Asano. He also served as Managing Partner at Founders Fund, a San Francisco-based venture capital fund founded by Peter Thiel, from 2006 to 2014. Since then, Parker has focused on philanthropic ventures and spends his time actively supporting causes like cancer research, global public health and civic engagement.
Taner Halicioglu left eBay to work at Facebook as the senior software/operations engineer from 2004 to 2009. His next stint was at Blizzard Entertainment where he served as lead reliability engineer for two years. After that he got involved with his alma mater, UC San Diego, where he is currently a lecturer and member of the Alumni Board of Directors. Halicioglu is simultaneously also the founder and manager/partner at two VC firms — Keshiff Ventures and Seed. He recently donated $75 million to UC San Diego to make the university a national leader in data science.
Ezra Callahan joined Facebook on Sean Parker's behest and was tasked with developing a local business product to generate revenue so that the social network's investors would be placated. Though, it was supposed to be temporary gig after which he planned to attend law school, Callahan worked at Facebook as manager of internal communications and product manager for six years. He left the company in July 2010 and has since been working on hospitality projects with his Los Angeles-based real estate company Artist and Recreation - which in 2015 opened a technology-driven hotel dubbed Arrive Hotels.
Matt Cohler was a founding team member, Vice-President and General Manager of LinkedIn, when Facebook's investor Peter Theil brought him on board. Cohler worked as the Vice-President of product management at Facebook from 2005 to 2008. In the following years, he became one of the world's most prominent tech investors after amassing an impressive portfolio which includes companies like Instagram, Quora, Counchsurfing, Zendesk and Dropbox among others. Cohler is currently a general partner at VC firm Benchmark and he also holds board/advisory roles at 16 companies.
The longest-serving Facebook employee (after Zuckerberg of course), Kevin Colleran has been handling the company's global partnerships since its inception. Holding the title of Global Account Lead, Colleran is Facebook's marketing wizard and is responsible for crafting the strategies the social network giant uses to engage its enormous user base of around two billion people.
Steve Chen spent a few ineffectual months as a senior software engineer at Facebook in 2005 after joining the company from PayPal. During his tenure there he got an idea for his own startup and he soon quit to start YouTube. Chen served as the Chief Technology Officer at YouTube for nearly three years before starting an internet company called AVOS Systems with fellow YouTube founder Chad Hurley. Four years later, in 2010, he co-founded Nom, a social network for food lovers, where he again served as CTO until April 2017. Having established his proficiency as an investor during his long time in Silicon Valley, he is currently an entrepreneur-in-residence and advisor at Google Ventures.
While working at Y2M, Tricia Black was one of the first people to use Facebook's platform for a client's advertisement campaign. She was soon brought on to Facebook as the first VP of sales in 2005 and was tasked with hiring the initial sales team and creating sales and marketing strategies besides other duties. She left the company a little over a year later and worked as an angel investor, advisor, and consultant. In 2016, Black co-founded Victress Capital, a VC firm that invests in female founders and gender diverse teams.
Steve King served as Director, Media Sales, at Facebook from 2005 to 2006 and he was responsible for bringing the first big advertisers onto the platform. After leaving Facebook, he worked as Regional Sales Manager at Dotomi and then as VP Sales at LocaModa. King is currently a General Partner at Second & Fourth — an investment and consultancy firm that caters to pre-seed and early stage startups. He is also the founder of a real estate investment firm called Stonefields LLC.
Naomi Gleit joined Facebook in June 2005 and has remained with the company ever since. As product manager on growth, she was initially charged with getting "literally everyone in the world" on Facebook. Her current position at Facebook is Vice-President of Social Good but the duties this unique role entails are unclear.
As Director of Operations at Facebook from 2005 to 2007, Nick Heyman was tasked with handling the social network's explosive growth in that period. After brief stints with Videoengg, Zazzle and Playdom Inc, Heyman joined Twitter as Manager of Operations in July 2010. But he quit the micro-blogging site within six months and has been working as a self-employed angel investor and technical advisor since then.
A former Mac engineer at Napster, Aaron Sittig was brought to Facebook by Sean Parker as the lead of design strategy in 2005. He was responsible for overseeing the design and roll-out of new products like the tagging feature in Facebook photos. Sittig then served as Product Architect at Facebook for two years until he left the company in 2012 to work as a consultant who advises startups on product strategy and design. He is currently the Managing Partner at the Public Studio.