Exec Completes Google-Facebook-YouTube Career Shift

    August 14, 2008

Whatever else one might be able to say about him, Ben Ling does not burn bridges.  The proof: roughly 10 months after Ling quit Google in order to work for Facebook, he’s getting put back on the search giant’s payroll as an executive at YouTube.

It’s hard to know what to make of this move.  Ling will act as YouTube’s head of monetization, and since Shashi Seth filled that spot until two months ago, the job-hopper (first in charge of Google Checkout and Product Search, then the director of platform program management at Facebook,) may just be stepping into a role on which he’d had his heart set all along.

Another possibility is that things at Facebook didn’t work out, and Ling is returning to grab whatever’s available at Google.  This isn’t the most likely option, as Ling was as nice as ever when describing Facebook on his way out.  But given YouTube’s long-running money problems, being in charge of getting cash is a rather huge challenge.

Anyway, Kara Swisher deserves credit for being the first to report the latest development in Ling’s life, and it’ll no doubt be interesting to see if some new and amazing advertising system appears on YouTube in the near future.

We’re kind of keeping some fingers crossed that Ling will switch back to Facebook within six or so months, too.