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US-Facebook-CFO 1stLd-Writethru 06-29

Facebook picks David Ebersman as new CFO

Eds: ADDS byline, age, CHANGES Genentech buyout to past tense, adds detail.

By BARBARA ORTUTAY

AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — David Ebersman, a former executive at biotech firm Genentech, was named Monday as Facebook’s chief financial officer.

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Ebersman, 39, will formally start at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based online hangout in September.

He replaces Gideon Yu, who left abruptly in March. Facebook said at the time it was looking for someone with "public company experience," even though Yu had previously worked at Yahoo Inc. — which is public.

Ebersman hails from Genentech, which has been sold to pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG.

"He was Genentech’s CFO while revenue tripled, and his success in scaling the finance organization of a fast-growing company will be important to Facebook," founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a prepared statement.

Facebook, which turned 5 years old earlier this year, does not share specifics on its profitability because it is a privately held company. Research firm eMarketer, estimates that the company will reap $300 million in worldwide ad revenue this year, up 20 percent from 2008.

But Facebook has yet to turn a profit. In May, the company got a $200 million investment from Russian Internet investor Digital Sky Technologies. This valued Facebook at $10 billion and gave a nearly 2 percent stake in the company’s preferred stock.

Ebersman worked at Genentech for 15 years.

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