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Facebook Hardware Chief Frank Frankovsky Leaves to Build a Storage Startup

The social network loses one of its top server design and hardware talents.

Flickr / Interop Events

The beard has left the building.

Frank Frankovsky, Facebook VP of hardware design and supply chain, plans to leave the company.

Frankovsky, a Facebook veteran of the past four-and-a-half years, rose from directing Facebook’s server hardware design efforts to become a vice president.

He was instrumental in founding Facebook’s Open Compute Project, an initiative that invites hardware community collaboration and the open sharing of data center design specifications. (He’s also a super nice guy with a massive beard.)

Facebook confirmed the departure, which was first reported by GigaOm, in a brief statement on Tuesday: “Frank was a valuable member of the Facebook team,” a company spokesman said. “We look forward to continuing to work with him on the Open Compute Project, and we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors.”

In Frankovsky’s absence, Director of Infrastructure Jason Taylor will assume responsibility for leading the supply chain and hardware design teams at Facebook. Taylor has actually been doing this for nearly a year, as Frankovsky has worked to scale out the Open Compute Project with participating partner hardware manufacturers.

It’s also not terribly surprising, as Frankovsky’s wife and two kids are based in Austin, Texas, while he’s had to work at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., campus more than half of the week (he commutes between the two cities weekly).

Frankovsky’s next gig? He’s building an optical storage startup that works in lockstep with his previous efforts in the Open Compute Project.

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