Facing increasing scrutiny from a souring public and government regulators over its privacy policies and its use of user data, Mark Zuckerberg announced that two senior level executives with the company would be leaving.
Departures Come Amid Blowback From Privacy and User Data Controversies
Mark Zuckerberg issued a statement revealing that senior executive Chris Cox, who was most recently the company’s Chief Product Officer, is leaving the company.
Chris Daniels, who heads up WhatsApp, is also departing the company, Zuckerberg said.
“I’m sad to share the news that Chris Cox has decided to leave the company,” Zuckerberg’s statement read. “Chris and I have worked closely together to build our products for more than a decade and I will always appreciate his deep empathy for the people using our services and the uplifting spirit he brings to everything he does.”
The announcement comes as the company is said to be shifting its strategy towards building a more “privacy-focused social platform”.
Facebook has come under fire for its handling of user data and its pushing the limits of user privacy. Several embarrassing leaks of internal communications and memos over the past year caused alarm among privacy advocates as they revealed a company very different from the friendlier corporate image Facebook has tried to promote for the past few years.
No Plans To Replace Chris Cox, Will Cathcart to Take Over WhatsApp
There appears to be no plans to fill the role of Chief Products Officer now that Cox is vacating it.
Instead, the heads of Facebooks different apps, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, will report to Zuckerberg directly, according to Business Insider. Chris Daniels will be replaced by Will Cathcart, according to Zuckerberg’s statement: “I’m excited that Will Cathcart will be the new head of WhatsApp. Will is one of the most talented leaders at our company — always focused on solving the most important problems for people and clear-eyed about the challenges and tradeoffs we face.”
Cathcart was most recently the head of the Facebook app for the company, a role that will now be taken on by Fidji Simo. “[Simo] has already led [the Facebook app team] for much of last year while Will was out on parental leave, and she is the clear person to lead these efforts going forward.”