On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that they Chris Cox, the company’s chief product officer, is leaving. VP of WhatsApp, Chris Daniels, is also leaving. Will Cathcart, who led the Facebook app will now be overseeing WhatsApp, and Fidji Simo will move from her current position as Facebook’s video product to lead the Facebook app.
With two top-level executives of Facebook leaving, this shows that the company is going through major, tumultuous changes in light of the two straight years of a number of privacy, data, measurement and disinformation scandals. It’s unknown if the leaving of these two executives are connected to Facebook’s decision shift from public sharing to messaging as it works to connect the back ends of its messaging services.
In the announcement, Zuckerberg said Cox, who has been with Facebook since 2005, had discussed his exit with Zuckerberg for a few years now.
“He [Cox] is one of the most talented people I know and he has the potential to do anything he wants. But after 2016, we both realized we had too much important work to do to improve our products for society, and he stayed to help us work through these issues and help us chart a course for our family of apps going forward,” wrote Zuckerberg.
Facebook watched a steady stream of executives departing following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, including its chief security officer Alex Stamos, head of communications and public policy Elliot Schrage, WhatsApp founder and CEO Jan Koum and more recently, Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, all over the last year.
Zuckerberg said he does not plan on hiring anyone to fill Chris Cox’s chief product officer role.
Fidji Simo, Will Cathcart, Adam Mosseri (who oversees Instagram ) and Stan Chudnovsky (who oversees Messenger) will report directly to Zuckerberg. Facebook’s chief marketing officer Antonio Lucio will report to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO.
Javier Olivan, who has been overseeing all of the central product services for Facebook’s family of apps team, will now be in charge of identifying where apps should be more integrated.