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Facebook’s Product Director Blake Ross to Leave Social Network

Facebook Inc.’s product director Blake Ross is leaving the company after joining it in 2007 as part of the first acquisition by the operator of the largest social network.

The company confirmed the departure in an e-mail without providing further details. Ross moved to Facebook with the purchase of Parakey Inc., whose software made it easier to transfer information between personal computers and the Internet. Parakey was run by Ross and Joe Hewitt, who also created the Web browser Firefox.

Ross’s duties at Facebook included serving on a team that focused on user growth. It was formed in late 2007 as the sign-up rate cooled, even as the service approached 100 million members. The growth team’s effort helped boost user adoption and, by last year, the service had topped 1 billion members.

Ross’s exit follows the departure of several Facebook employees since the company held its initial public offering in May 2012. Senior executives Katie Mitic and Ethan Beard said in August that they were leaving the Menlo Park, California-based company.

Facebook fell less than 1 percent to $27.13 today at the New York close. The stock has declined 29 percent since the company went public at $38 a share.

-- Editors: Stephen West, Reed Stevenson

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