Benjamin Ling, the former Googler who was hired by Facebook last year and sparked a barrage of blog speculation about Google employees moving on to the next cool company, may be going back to Mountain View. Earlier this week, Facebook confirmed that he was indeed leaving the company.
Valleywag reported on Thursday that Ling had been spotted at the Googleplex, and the Gossip Girl-ish nature of that post was backed up by a report from Kara Swisher that she'd heard he'd be returning to Google to work on YouTube. More specifically, he was re-hired to help monetize the notoriously tough-to-produce-cash video site.
In his previous stint at Google, Ling had been instrumental in developing the Google Checkout payment service. He was hired at Facebook last October to market its developer platform, and confirmed in June that there was a payment system under way at the social network as well. That has yet to launch, leading some to speculate that it's been shelved or is behind schedule.
One of the earlier Google employees to jump ship to Facebook, Ling was later joined by execs Sheryl Sandberg, now serving as Facebook's chief operating officer, and Elliot Schrage, now the company's vice president of global communications and public policy.