After five years as Facebook’s director of design, Kate Aronowitz has announced that she will soon be leaving the company.
“Goodbyes are always hard, but I wanted to let everyone know that I will be leaving Facebook in a few weeks,” Aronowitz posted on her Facebook feed. “Facebook has been a home to me for the last five years, and I leave with lifelong friends and many incredible memories. The vision, leadership, and product we’ve built together continue to inspire me, and I will miss you all.”
According to Aronowitz, her next move will be to do some consulting, a transition she hopes will allow her to spend more time with her family.
First hired by Facebook in 2008 after successful stints at LinkedIn and eBay, Aronowitz has overseen the social network’s biggest design initiatives over the past five years, including beefing up the company’s design research function and spearheading an aggressive hiring campaign to bring some of Silicon Valley’s best designers in-house.
During that time, she has worked within Facebook in many different capacities, most recently as the director of brand design on Facebook’s Global Creative Services team, working with Top-100 brands that spent millions in advertising on the social network to target their content to their customers more effectively.
A graduate of Savannah’s College of Art and Design, Aronowitz told Co.Design back in 2012: “Beautiful design is something that people don’t even really notice.”
One of the major pushes Aronowitz made during her time at Facebook was to bring in more designers who know how to code: builders who have a product mindset because they’ve already shipped their own apps or services, and understand the bigger picture of a monolithic product like Facebook.
“I never learned [to code],” Aronowitz she told attendees at an event in 2011, “but the next person who has my job will.” Time will tell if Aronowitz is right: the social network has not yet announced her successor.
“Kate has been a valuable member of Facebook, and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors,” a Facebook spokesperson tells Co.Design. They had no comment on her replacement.