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Main » Facebook says Chief Product Officer Chris Cox is leaving | Tech

Facebook says Chief Product Officer Chris Cox is leaving | Tech

16 March 2019
Facebook says Chief Product Officer Chris Cox is leaving | Tech

Facebook said Thursday its chief product officer Chris Cox was leaving the company, becoming the highest-ranking executive to depart amid the turmoil at the leading social network.

He will be replaced by Will Cathcart, who now heads up Facebook's mobile app. Fidji Simo, who ran the app while Mr Cathcart was away on paternity leave, will take on his role.

The departures come less than two weeks after Zuckerberg announced a shift in Facebook's focus toward privacy after years of criticisms over the company's handling of users' personal data.

"Embarking on this new vision represents the start of a new chapter for us", Zuckerberg said in describing the changes amid a new direction in company strategy outlined by Zuckerberg last week.

However, the latest exits are potentially more troubling, as Mr Cox and Mr Daniels were members of Mr Zuckerberg's tight-knit group of allies.

"I will really miss Chris, but mostly I am deeply grateful for everything he has done to build this place and serve our community", Mr Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg also announced the departure of Chris Daniel, who helped Facebook define the business model for WhatsApp going forward. He joined Facebook in 2005 as one of the company's first 15 software engineers and was instrumental in building the News Feed, the stream of posts that people see when they log into the service. Daniels worked for Facebook for eight years, and was promoted to oversee WhatsApp last May. Considering WhatsApp is a platform already focused on privacy and being one of the only Facebook apps to have end-to-end encryption at this time, it's quite surprising to see Daniels leaving just a week after Facebook's privacy-focused announcement. He pocketed $310 million in gains from exercising Facebook stock options from 2014 through 2017 alone, according to the company's filings with securities regulators.

Facebook isn't hiring another executive to replace Cox. Once its other apps are included, this rises to 2.7...

Daniels has been at Facebook almost nine years, and previously led the company's effort, a project aimed at bringing internet access to developing countries. Zuckerberg is also promising to make photos and posts automatically disappear from public view.

Mr Cox has always been in Mr Zuckerberg's inner circle. "Facebook a massive and evolving company, so it's only natural that in a company that large, not everyone will agree with every strategic change", she said.