UPDATED 18:25 EDT / APRIL 02 2009

Firing of Facebook’s CFO Gideon Yu – Brutal Work Conditions or Culture? Both

image I was waiting to comment on the release of Gideon Yu from Facebook, but given the new memo Kara Swisher posted I can’t wait any longer. I have information from a source close to the company that the reason for his leaving was the brutal work conditions. Lets be clear here Gideon doesn’t need the money. He’s made plenty, and he is considered a pro in my Silicon Valley circles. Why then does he get the boot?

It’s hard for certain folks to work in hard and/or harsh conditions. I love startups because the chaos is challenging and rewarding. Startups are difficult and demanding. Some might say that Facebook isn’t a startup anymore, but I’d say that it’s harder than a startup. It’s growing massively and has a hard charging young culture.

image My contacts tell me that it wasn’t the hard working part but instead the harsh environment – the culture. Only a few unique individuals can really thrive in startups and rapidly growing young companies. By all measures Gideon has passed the test on both fronts so that is why I find this firing so puzzling.

My Angle: Facebook needs to start thinking about internal HR rather than external PR. They don’t want all the "Eagles" to fly from the nest.

[Note: Kara Swisher at AllThingsD has been covering Facebook like a blanket from day 1 so I’m not surprised to see her get the memo. Nice reporting Kara.]


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