In what looks to be a solid step toward an initial public offering, Facebook named a new CFO today. David Ebersman, former Genentech CFO, will take the same role with Facebook in September.

The company said earlier this year that it wanted a finance chief with public company experience. Ebersman's 15 years at Genentech will help him guide Facebook to becoming a public company. He was available because earlier this year, Genentech was purchased by Hoffmann-La Roche, which also has a CFO. Ebersman, who said he is "excited to join this effort and this new industry," was also likely looking for a new CFO challenge.By taking on the role at Facebook, he'll have the added challenges of helping the company build its revenue from a small base, guide the company through the IPO process, and lead it once it becomes public. Investors will demand more from Ebersman and Facebook when and if the company matures through the IPO process.

Facebook "had the opportunity to meet with many impressive candidates," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a press release Monday. Ebersman "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."

Ebersman was CFO at Genentech from 2006 through April of this year. He was senior vice president of product operations and a business development analyst at Genentech, and prior to joining Genentech, he was a research analyst at Oppenheimer & Company according to the release. Former Facebook CFO Gideon Yu, who had joined the social-networking company in 2007 and had formerly served as an executive at Yahoo and YouTube, left the company earlier this year. Palo Alto, California-based Facebook was founded in February 2004.

Anthony Massucci is a senior writer for DailyFinance. You may follow him on Twitter at hianthony.


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