Facebook has appointed David Ebersman, a former executive of US biotechnology company Genentech, as its new chief financial officer.
The move has increased speculation that Facebook is preparing to offer shares to the public for the first time by filing for an initial public offering (IPO), according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, said Genentech's revenue tripled in the three years that Ebersman was CFO.
"His success in scaling the finance organisation of a fast-growing company will be important to Facebook," he said.
In April, speculation was rife over whether Facebook was planning to float on the stock market after the exit of former CFO Gideon Yu.
Facebook said in a statement that it had retained Spencer Stuart to lead the search for a new CFO with public company experience.
This led to rumours of a planned IPO, now boosted by the appointment of Ebersman, who has 15 year experience at Genentech.
Previously, he held positions as a senior vice-president of product operations, a business development analyst and a research analyst.