Two of Facebook’s top executives are leaving the social network — a week after its boss Mark Zuckerberg announced a big strategic pivot toward private messaging.
Zuckerberg said in a Thursday blog post that chief product officer Chris Cox — who joined the social network in 2005 when it was still in its infancy — was leaving to “do something else.”
Also, WhatsApp head Chris Daniels — who took over the chat platform last May — will be leaving the company, Zuckerberg said.
The surprise exits come after Zuckerberg announced last week that the company aims to focus less on public posts and more on private conversations across its Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp apps.
The move will more tightly integrate the three apps — a move that critics say could have potential antitrust implications and which reportedly has sparked disagreement among some of Facebook’s senior employees.
In a blog post, Zuckerberg said that Cox had been mulling an exit from Facebook to pursue other projects for “a few years.”
“After 2016, we both realized we had too much important work to do to improve our products for society, and he stayed to help us work through these issues and help us chart a course for our family of apps going forward,” Zuckerberg said.
In his own blog post, Cox on Thursday wrote,“Social media’s history is not yet written, and its effects are not neutral … As its builders we must endeavor to understand its impact — all the good, and all the bad — and take up the daily work of bending it towards the positive, and towards the good.”
Daniels took the helm of WhatsApp after founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton left the messaging app last year, reportedly over disagreements about the increased integration of WhatsApp’s operations with Facebook’s.