Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Facebook faces more executive departures

Facebook Whats App top execs unexpectedly quit even as criminal investigation looms Facebook CPO Chris Cox. Image Reuters
Priscilla Morrison | 15 March, 2019, 12:38

The departure, announced Thursday, follows Zuckerberg's announcement that Facebook will shift its emphasis to private messaging over public sharing.

"Most all my personal highs and lows of the last decade have been tied up in the journey of this company, with Mark, and with so many of you", Cox wrote in a post.

Cox made his announcement in on his Facebook page, saying he was leaving "with great sadness" after 13 years.

On Thursday, the company announced that Chief Product Officer Chris Cox and Chris Daniels, who heads Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp, are leaving.

Zuckerberg said Cox first mentioned he might leave a few years ago, but chose to stay on after 2016 as evidence emerged that Russians had manipulated Facebook's services to provoke discord in the USA and influence the election won by President Donald Trump.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post that does not plan on immediately appointing anyone to replace Cox.

SEE ALSO: Facebook's former chief security officer compares company to 'The Matrix.' Whoa.

More news: Students stage school strikes over climate change

Daniels, who had worked on Facebook initiatives in developing countries, had moved a year ago to WhatsApp, which is more popular than Facebook in many big emerging markets.

Cox and Daniels are among a string of executives who've left Facebook since 2017. It also means that Zuckerberg will seize control of Facebook's key products by making the leaders of its most important properties like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp report directly to him-at least for the near term.

Daniels has been at Facebook almost nine years, and previously led the company's Internet.org effort, a project aimed at bringing internet access to developing countries.

Perhaps more than anyone else at Facebook - even more than COO Sheryl Sandberg - Cox was a sounding board for Zuckerberg on product ideas.

Facebook didn't indicate how many of its 2.32 billion monthly active users were affected or how long its service was compromised. In a memo to employees, Zuckerberg suggested the events were linked.

Will Cathcart, vice president of product management, will now lead WhatsApp, and Head of Video, Games and Monetization Fidji Simo will be the new head of the Facebook app, Zuckerberg said.

These two departures come on the heels of founding-executive departures at Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp previous year.

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