Executives are fleeing Facebook as the company comes under increased fire for privacy and anti-trust issues. Last week Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, and vice president for WhatsApp, Chris Daniels, both departed the company. Facebook has announced changes in the direction of its product, perhaps making departures of personnel who no longer fit the mission inevitable. It could also be that these executives are tired of dealing with Facebook’s many troubles and have decided to leave while they can. Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier reports:
Cox was well-liked internally, known for his easygoing style and for preaching about building products that involved more empathy for users. He oversaw Facebook’s transformation into a personalized information platform, making editorial tweaks to the company’s news feed algorithm.
The next era of Facebook product development will be dramatically different. The company wants users to be able to send information to each other across all the major apps it owns, including Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. The focus on encryption — scrambling messages so even Facebook can’t see them — may help ward off privacy critics while generating new revenue from areas where the company doesn’t have to police content.
Javier Olivan, an executive who worked with Cox, will lead the integration of Facebook’s apps, Zuckerberg said. Until now, Olivan has been responsible for growth across the company’s apps.
Chris Daniels, who took charge of the WhatsApp messaging service after the founders’ departure last year, is also leaving the company. Will Cathcart, who was in charge of the Facebook app, will now run WhatsApp, while Fidji Simo, Facebook’s video executive, will take over Facebook overall.
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Jeremy Jones, CFA
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