Facebook is making its biggest executive shuffle in company history
Facebook instituted its biggest executive shakeup in its 15-year history this week, appointing new leaders for WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook’s core app while giving other longtime Facebook executives new responsibilities, including a new effort to tackle blockchain technology. The moves, which were announced internally to employees today, are meant to improve executive communication and user privacy, but the changes also come as Facebook contends with the backlash from the U.S. presidential election, revelations of manipulation by the Russian government and the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reorganized the social giant’s product and engineering organizations into three main divisions, including a new “Family of apps” group run by Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, the executive previously in charge of the core Facebook app. Cox will now oversee Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, according to multiple sources, four social apps with a combined reach of more than five billion monthly users. Facebook is also building a new team dedicated to blockchain technology. David Marcus, the executive in charge of Facebook’s standalone messaging app, Messenger, is leaving that post to run the blockchain group, these sources said. That new team will fall under one of the other three divisions, referred to as “New platforms and infra,” which will be managed by CTO Mike Schroepfer. Facebook’s AR, VR and artificial intelligence efforts will also live under Schroepfer’s division. Longtime Facebook exec Javier Olivan, the company’s VP of growth, will oversee the third division, called “Central product services,” which includes all of the shared features that operate across multiple products or apps such as ads, security and growth. Surprisingly, no one appears to be leaving Facebook. Just a lot of old faces in new places. You may have noticed from the diagram that almost all of Facebook’s top product and engineering execs are men. That’s true, though Facebook does have a number of high ranking and influential female product executives that aren’t directly involved in these changes. For example: Fidji Simo, who runs video; Deb Liu, who runs Marketplace; and Julie Zhuo, who runs design. Then, of course, there’s Sheryl Sandberg on the business side of things. The changes all come at an interesting time for Facebook and Zuckerberg, who has been openly discussing his need to take more responsibility for Facebook’s impact on the world. Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution was to fix Facebook, and restructuring the team is clearly part of that fix. The hope is that these new roles will keep more open lines of communication among executives without hurting the speed Facebook is known for. (“Move fast and break things,” remember?)


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