For the previous two years, Fb has been roiled by information scandals, a failure to police its service, and a significant shift in technique to give attention to privateness. In fixing all the issues, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will now must do and not using a key lieutenant who was as soon as seen as a potential successor.
Zuckerberg stated on Thursday that Chris Cox, the social networking big’s chief product officer, can be leaving.
Cox’s exit marks an enormous upheaval within the firm’s government suite. It additionally signifies that Zuckerberg will seize management of Fb’s key merchandise by making the leaders of its most vital properties like Fb, Instagram, and WhatsApp report on to him—a minimum of for the close to time period.
Cox and Zuckerberg look like divided over the corporate’s new technique introduced final week that it will give attention to privateness relatively than connecting with the world at massive. Zuckerberg needs to encrypt consumer content material and make posts, messages, and images ephemeral, very similar to Snapchat.
Media studies cite sources inside Fb who stated the brand new privateness focus was partially why Cox determined to depart. A submitting with the Securities and Trade Fee reveals that Cox knowledgeable Fb about his meant departure on March 11, simply 5 days after Zuckerberg made his privateness plan public.
in a put up on Fb about his departure, Cox hinted at his ambivalence concerning the new imaginative and prescient.
“This can be a giant venture and we’ll want leaders who’re excited to see the brand new route via,” he wrote, signaling that he wasn’t “excited” about it himself.
Cox joined Fb in 2005 as one in every of its authentic software program builders. Zuckerberg stated Cox was instrumental within the firm’s first Information Feed and credited him for serving to outline the corporate’s mission, main the product and design groups, and operating the Fb app.
In his newest function as product chief, a place he held for 10 months, Cox led technique for the corporate’s household of apps.
Cox’s departure comes as Fb is below fireplace on plenty of fronts. It’s attempting to fend off a felony investigation surrounding information offers that it made with different corporations and an investigation by the Federal Commerce Fee over privateness considerations.
Along with Cox, Zuckerberg additionally stated on Thursday that Chris Daniels, vp of WhatsApp, is stepping down. Daniels led WhatsApp for 10 months, after changing co-founder Jan Koum, who left the corporate in April after clashing with Zuckerberg over a plan to loosen privateness and encryption.
Will Cathcart, vp of product administration, will substitute Daniels. Fidji Simo, vp of video, video games, and monetization, will change into the brand new head of the Fb app.
Zuckerberg stated Cox’s departure creates alternatives for leaders who’re energized concerning the path forward. That path will decide whether or not Fb can restore its tarnished picture or proceed to undergo a gentle drip of unflattering headlines and rack up extra government departures.