Tech & Science: Facebook loses chief product officer, WhatsApp head as it pivots to privacy - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Tech & ScienceFacebook loses chief product officer, WhatsApp head as it pivots to privacy

08:00  15 march  2019
08:00  15 march  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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Just last spring, Chris Cox, the chief product officer of Facebook , was promoted to also oversee WhatsApp , Messenger, and Instagram. In a note published on Facebook ’s Newsroom blog, Zuckerberg said that Chris Daniels, who’s been running WhatsApp since the reorganization a year

Zuckerberg wrote that both Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer , and Chris Daniels, CEO of Zuckerberg also announced that Will Cathcart will be new head of WhatsApp , and "This is an important change as we begin the next chapter of our work building the privacy -focused social foundation for the future.

Facebook loses chief product officer, WhatsApp head as it pivots to privacy © James Martin/CNET

Facebook logo.

Facebook, which has been embroiled in a series of scandals, is losing two more top executives as it focuses on building a more "privacy-focused social platform."

On Thursday, the company announced that Chief Product Officer Chris Cox and Chris Daniels, who heads Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp, are leaving.

The leadership shuffle comes a week after Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the world's largest social network is focusing more on private messaging and ephemeral content. In the future, Zuckerberg predicted, Facebook's users will be posting more in messaging apps than they do on their public News Feeds.

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Two top executives, Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox and WhatsApp VP Chris Daniels are leaving the firm as it overhauls its ‘vision’ in the wake of numerous privacy scandals. He was named the head of WhatsApp less than a year ago. Will Cathcart, vice president of product management

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook ’s chief product officer , Chris Cox, who is one of the social network’s highest ranking executives, said on Thursday that he was leaving the company. Mr. Cox’s departure follows two years of scandals for Facebook around data privacy and disinformation.

Cox is among Facebook's highest-ranking executives and has been at the company for 13 years. In a note to employees about Cox's departure, Zuckerberg said Cox had been talking to him for a few years about doing something else but decided to stay after 2016 to help improve the social network.

Cox worked on some of Facebook's key products, including the social network's News Feed, and led the product and design teams. He also built Facebook's first human resources teams and oversaw the strategy for the apps that Facebook owns, Zuckerberg wrote.

The New York Times, citing people involved in the situation, reported that Cox and Daniels left after disagreements with Zuckerberg.

Daniels, who became the head of WhatsApp in May, was apparently unhappy with choices being made around the company's plans to merge Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram messaging. Cox also butted heads with Zuckerberg over plans to integrate Facebook's messaging apps along with other product ideas, according to The New York Times' report.

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With his new role as head of the company’s family of apps—Instagram, WhatsApp , Messenger and the tried and true Big Blue (aka Facebook )— Facebook ’s chief product officer is stepping out as the leader he has long been internally. Anyone paying close attention knows this already.

Facebook 's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer People are at the heart of every connection we build. We design products and deliver services that Over time, we’ve expanded the Facebook family to include Instagram, WhatsApp , Messenger, Augmented

Facebook loses chief product officer, WhatsApp head as it pivots to privacy © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. chris-cox-mark-zuckerberg

Cox and Daniels did not immediately respond to comment. Facebook declined to comment on The New York Times' report.

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WhatsApp was built with a focus on privacy and a disdain for ads, but the Facebook -owned service is now under pressure to make money.

Facebook 's Chief Security Officer , Alex Stamos, has left the company as it faces intensifying scrutiny for the platform's user data practices. Elliot Schrage, the company’s head of policy and comms left recently as did Jan Kourm the co-founder of Facebook -owned messaging app WhatsApp .

Facebook doesn't plan to appoint anyone to immediately fill Cox's role. Zuckerberg announced that Will Cathcart will be the new head of WhatsApp and Fidji Simo will be the new head of the Facebook app.

"This is an important change as we begin the next chapter of our work building the privacy-focused social foundation for the future," Zuckerberg said in the note.

Cox and Daniels are among a string of executives who've left Facebook since 2017. In October, Oculus co-founder and former CEO Brendan Iribe announced he was leaving the Facebook-owned virtual reality company. Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, WhatApp's Brian Acton and Jan Koum and Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey have also departed.

Cox posted about his departure on Facebook, but didn't explain why he decided to leave. He did point out Facebook is "turning a new page" by focusing more on messaging and encryption.

"It's a product vision attuned to the subject matter of today: a modern communications platform that balances expression, safety, security and privacy," Cox wrote in a Facebook post. "This will be a big project and we will need leaders who are excited to see the new direction through."

Facebook faces criminal probe into data deals: NYT.
At least two companies that make smartphones and other devices have received subpoenas from a New York grand jury related to how they used Facebook user data they received under deals with the social networking company. The companies were not named in the report. Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter These deals, which have mostly been discontinued, allowed people to access their Facebook accounts, or specific Facebook features, on platforms from other companies, including Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones.

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