Facebook's list of exiting C-suites grows

The company's chief product officer and the head of WhatsApp will be leaving the firm as the company moves toward a "privacy first" strategy

15Mar

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company's chief product officer Chris Cox and the head of WhatsApp Chris Daniels will be leaving the firm.

The news follows Zuckerberg's public post last week which outlined his intention to address the social media giant's privacy issues by shifting away from public posts and moving instead toward encrypted, ephemeral communications on its messaging apps. The goal is to create "a simpler platform that's focused on privacy first".

Cox joined the company in 2005, just one year after the company was founded, while Daniels took up the helm at WhatsApp a year ago. So far, no reason has been given for their departure.

Will Cathcart, who currently heads up Facebook's mobile app, will succeed Daniels as head of WhatsApp. Fidji Simo, vice president of video, games and monetization at Facebook, will become the Facebook app's new head.

Cox's replacement has yet to be announced.

The last few years have seen an exodus of high-profile leaders among Facebook's ranks. Brendan Iribe was the second Oculus co-founder to leave the company late last year, following WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum earlier in 2018, while Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger handed in their notice in September 2018. The resignations have been publicly linked to tension between Zuckerberg and other C-suites over the direction of the company in addition to the number of data scandals Facebook has found itself caught up in of late.

However, this latest round of resignations does not so far appear to be on bad terms.

"This is an important change as we begin the next chapter of our work building the privacy-focused social foundation for the future," remarked Zuckerberg. "I'm deeply grateful for everything Chris Cox and Chris Daniels have done here, and I'm looking forward to working with Will and Fidji in their new roles, as well as everyone who will be critical to achieving this vision.

"We have so much important work ahead and I'm excited to continue working to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together," he concluded.

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