Monday, 25 March, 2019

Facebook: two top executives to leave company

Mark Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg was close to both Mr Cox and Mr Daniels Credit Reuters
Laurie Berry | 15 March, 2019, 12:38

"At this point, we have made real progress on many issues and we have a clear plan for our apps, centered around making private messaging, stories and groups the foundation of the experience, including enabling encryption and interoperability across our services", Zuckerberg continued. In fixing all the problems, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will now have to do without a key lieutenant who was once seen as a possible successor.

Facebook's top executive in charge of all products, Chris Cox, the longtime confidant of Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, is leaving the company, the highest-level departure at the social media giant and follows almost two years of sustained crises.

Will Cathcart was announced as the new lead on WhatsApp, while Zuckerberg, apparently consolidating power as he prepares to merge the apps in some way or another, states he does "not plan on immediately appointing anyone to fill Chris's role in the near term".

Mr Cox was one of Facebook's first software developers and one of the chief architects of the news feed, the cascade of Facebook posts that is the company's most lucrative source of advertising.

A long-time Zuckerberg confidante, Cox's departure timing suggests he may not have been on board with the new corporate vision.

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

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Zuckerberg's statement indicated that Cox had been looking to move on from Facebook for some time, but that he stayed on longer to meet some crucial company needs. A big piece of that plan hinges on combining the messaging infrastructure of WhatsApp, Instagram, and facebook Messenger.

"As Mark has outlined, we are turning a new page in our product direction, focused on an encrypted, interoperable, messaging network", Cox wrote.

Cox gained greater oversight of WhatsApp and Instagram following the exits of their founders over the last two years.

The departures of Cox and Daniels come a day after a technical issue that limited use of Facebook and Instagram for most of Wednesday.

Originally published March 14, 1:19 p.m. Update, 1:48 p.m.: Includes more background and Zuckerberg's post to employees; 1:55 p.m.: Adds background about other executive departures; 2:15 p.m.: Includes post from Chris Cox.

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