Brian Pinkerton is leaving the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic investment vehicle founded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. Although Pinkerton arrived just a year ago from Amazon, he announced his departure in an email to the CZI staff.
Pinkerton served as the company’s chief technology officer for the past year. He acknowledged that CZI’s engineering team has increased more than he initially anticipated and implied that the was not interested in managing a team of that size. The team grew from just 3 employees to 96.
Pinkerton was also responsible for handling CZI’s technical projects during his tenure, including work in acquiring and integrating the AI startup, Meta. Mark Zuckerberg has expressed a good deal of interest in AI, and the company’s involvement came as no shock as many expected CZI to bounce on the startup. Pinkerton also worked on CZI’s tech partnership with various Summit Schools and the Human Cell Atlas project that aimed to map all human cells.
CZI is still a new startup and although the company has already invested billions of dollars in capital to help many good causes, they are still new in the industry.
Mark Zuckerberg was quick to praise Pinkerton. He stated, “Priscilla and I want to thank Brian for helping to build our engineering organization and lay the foundation to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges in education, science, and policy.”
Pinkerton, himself, had an important message to the staff members at CZI and shared kind words about his experience with the company:
“It’s been an honor to help build the foundation for our technology work at CZI. I’m not sure what comes next for me, but I’ve been a software engineer since I was 15, and I’m looking forward to exploring work that allows me to go deeper on a narrower set of challenges,” Pinkerton wrote in a portion of the email obtained by Recode. “It’s the kind of work that I’m passionate about, and it’s been tough to find that balance given the demands of leading as we’ve grown in numbers and in scope.”
Pinkerton shouldn’t have a difficult time finding a new position at another company, but CZI will need to replace the position immediately to continue to thrive as a growing startup.