* Facebook picks ex-Genentech CFO David Ebersman as CFO
* Ebersman will begin in September (Adds analyst comments, background)
SAN FRANCISCO, June 29 (Reuters) - Internet social network powerhouse Facebook has hired the former chief financial officer of Genentech as its CFO, filing a spot that has been empty for about three months.
Facebook said on Monday that David Ebersman will join the company in September. Ebersman served as CFO of Genentech from 2006 until April this year, when the biotech company was acquired by Roche Holding ROG.VX.
“His success in scaling the finance organization of a fast-growing company will be important to Facebook,” Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. He noted that Ebersman oversaw Genentech’s financial operations during a time when the company’s revenue tripled.
In March, Facebook announced that CFO Gideon Yu was leaving the company and that it was seeking a replacement with “public company experience.”
Facebook’s comments at the time sparked speculation that the company was preparing for an initial public offering. But Zuckerberg said in May that any IPO was still “a few years out.”
Facebook is the world’s No.1 Internet social networking site with more than 200 million active users. Last month, Facebook received $200 million in funding from Russian Internet investment firm Digital Sky Technologies.
In hiring a CFO from Genentech, Facebook is branching out from the pool of Internet executives, as it copes with rapid growth and an uncertain economy.
Earlier this month, Yahoo Inc YHOO.O appointed Tim Morse, a longtime executive from General Electric Co (GE.N), to be its new CFO.
The moves reflect the demand among some Internet companies for CFOs with strong financial engineering skills rather than operational experience in the Internet business, said Broadpoint.Amtech analyst Ben Schachter.
“You certainly can have a lot of lessons from someone in a high-growth company” like Genentech, said Schachter.
Facebook said on Monday that Ebersman will become part of the company’s executive management team, reporting to Zuckerberg and overseeing the company’s finances, accounting, investor relations and real estate functions.
Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Richard Chang