Frank Frankovsky, server guru and head of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Open Compute Project, announced today that he was leaving the company to begin his own company that explores optical technology for the optimization of storage capacity.

Facebook FB

A well-regarded colleague

To hear and read tech journalists reaction to the news today is to almost find yourself reading the obituary of the “Nicest person at Facebook.” Kind, funny and perhaps out of place at Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) though he excelled there, Frankovsky is a man everyone is wishing well on his newest project.

“It’s time for me to move on to new challenges,” Frankovsky wrote on his personal Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) page today. “I am planning to work on a new open-source hardware business focused on developing and delivering optical technology for capacity-optimized storage needs.”

It’s believed that that work will take him to the Austin, TX area where his family resides and that Frankovsky has hailed as Silicon Valley South.

In addition to heading Facebook’s Open Compute Project, he was in charge of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s hardware initiatives. The Open Compute Project was put together to reduce costs that Internet companies face with server upgrades. The work, while open to all, is believed to have saved Facebook over $1.2 billion over the last three years according to the Wall Street Journal.

Facebook farewell

Jason Taylor, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s director of infrastructure, has been tipped to take over hardware design and supply-chain infrastructure following Frankovsky’s move and will sit in a new spot on Open Compute’s board. Frankovsky will still head the groups board despite his departure.

“Frank was a valuable member of the Facebook team,” Facebook said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with him on the Open Compute Project, and we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors.”

The full farewell is available here as well as details on what Frankovsky has planned for his future. As he makes clear in his farewell, Frankovsky is truly committed in his belief that open-source is the future beyond just servers. “Two years ago, it sounded like a crazy mangling of apples and oranges. … We’re just at the beginning of open-source’s impact on the hardware business.”