Top Facebook, WhatsApp executives quit: Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

A major leadership shake-up is underway at Facebook with one of CEO Mark Zuckerberg's longest-serving lieutenants, Chris Cox, leaving the company.

The departure of two top-level executives at Facebook further underscores the company is undergoing major, tumultuous changes in the wake of two straight years of numerous privacy, data, measurement and disinformation scandals.

Citing six sources, The Times reported that Cox "disagreed with some of Mr. Zuckerberg's product ideas and changes, including the "unified messaging" project meant to connect the apps". In the future, Zuckerberg predicted, Facebook's users will be posting more in messaging apps than they do on their public News Feeds. WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram Remain Down For Some Users Across Globe, Outage Triggers Fury on Social Media.

Will Cathcart, who now heads up Facebook's mobile app, will succeed Daniels as head of WhatsApp.

Zuckerberg praised both Cox, a longtime confidant, and Daniels in his post, the latest announcement of top-level changes at the social-networking giant. The company's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, distributed a memo to employees, which was later published on the company's blog, announcing the official resignation of Chris Cox and Chris Daniels.

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While Zuckerberg also said that Cox had spoken before about his desire to leave the company, that his departure is tied directly to Facebook's so-called privacy pivot, is significant.

Zuckerberg told Wired magazine on 6 March that "there will be a bunch of work inside the company to make sure that we have the right folks in the right roles" to bring Facebook's apps together and introduce more privacy features.

He's joined on his way out the door by Chris Daniels, Vice President of WhatsApp. With Facebook's culture supposedly changing to focus on privacy, the company is already going through a ton of changes internally and with the head of product leaving at this time, things are going to be quite challenging. "While it is sad to lose such great people, this also creates opportunities for more great leaders who are energized about the path ahead to take on new and bigger roles", he added. It seems no one will fill Cox's shoes, and team leaders will now report to Zuckerberg.

The steady loss of executive talent come amid a painful two year period Facebook has been vilified for abusing user privacy and summoned to testify about the prevalence of fake news and risky political ads on its sites. It's also been at the center of the company's controversies, including the spread of false information, because it gives everyone who uses it a different picture of reality.

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