Economy

Two more top Facebook executives leave the company

Two more top Facebook executives leave the company

These apps have been distinct until recently, when Zuckerberg announced plans to unify them under a banner of/with a new focus on privacy.

Two of Facebook's top executives - head of product Chrix Cox and WhatsApp chief Chris Daniels are leaving the company after disagreements with Mark Zuckerberg over the company's future direction. In the past two years, the founders of Facebook acquisitions Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus have left for various reasons, often over strategy. Zuckerberg announced that Will Cathcart will be the new head of WhatsApp and Fidji Simo will be the new head of the Facebook app.

Forrester analyst Jessica Liu said it sounded like Cox was "subtly disagreeing" with Zuckerberg's privacy memo, based on Cox's farewell post.

The departure of Cox in particular, after 13 years, raises eyebrows as he was seen as one of Zuckerberg's most loyal lieutenants and, as chief product officer, was the key figurehead at major launch events.

Their departures come barely a week after Zuckerberg announced sweeping changes to Facebook, in order re-orient the social network around encryption and privacy.

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"I will always appreciate his deep empathy for the people using our services and the uplifting spirit he brings to everything he does", Zuckerberg said of Cox in his parting note. 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.

"As Mark has outlined, we are turning a new page in our product direction", Cox wrote in a statement.

The news feed has been the most important facet of the Facebook business model, because the company can slot advertisements in between personal posts. In a post on Facebook, Cox only said he's leaving because of the new direction Facebook is taking, saying new leaders "who are excited" about the move will be needed. "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. And Simo, along with the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, head of Messenger Stan Chudnovsky, and head of WhatsApp Will Cathcart, will report directly to Zuckerberg. "As we embark on this next major chapter, Chris has decided now is the time to step back from leading these teams".

Daniels had informed the company several months ago of his intention to leave and will stay on through a leadership transition, a person familiar with the matter said.