Facebook hires former YouTube CFO

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PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Facebook Inc. has hired YouTube's former chief financial officer to oversee its books, providing the latest indication that the Web's second-most popular social networking site is preparing to remain independent instead of selling to a larger company.

The addition of Gideon Yu as Facebook's CFO, confirmed Tuesday, represents the Palo Alto-based startup's second significant coup in the last two weeks. Facebook last week added two prominent engineers, Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, by buying the duo's startup, Parakey.

Ross and Hewitt are two of the creative forces behind the initiative that created Firefox -- the second most-used Web browser after Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer.

Yu is taking over Facebook's CFO position from Mike Sheridan, who is leaving the company for unspecified reasons.

This is the second time Yu has taken a job with a rising Silicon Valley star in less than a year. Last September, he left Yahoo Inc. to become CFO of video sharing pioneer, YouTube.

At the time, Yu's arrival was seen as a sign that YouTube might be mulling an initial public offering of stock. Instead, Yu wound up helping to negotiate YouTube's sale to Google Inc. in a deal valued at $1.76 billion when it closed late last year.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's 23-year-old chief executive, so far has insisted the company isn't for sale. He already spurned a $1 billion offer from Yahoo last year. Zuckerberg, who started Facebook at Harvard University in 2004 before dropping out to move to Silicon Valley, also has indicated that an IPO probably won't happen anytime soon.

With more than 30 million users, Facebook has emerged as one of the Internet's hottest Web sites for connecting with friends and meeting new people. Only News Corp.'s MySpace.com boasts a larger social network.

Facebook also has emerged as an increasingly popular spot for advertisers, an allure that is expected to boost the privately held company's revenue well beyond $100 million this year.
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