Robert Kimmitt, Facebook's new Lead Independent Director. Credit: Facebook
Jeffrey Zients is leaving Facebook’s Board of Directors, in the fifth exit from the Board in a year. The Company announced today that Zients, a businessman and former economic adviser to President Obama, will not seek reelection, and will depart after Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting, usually held in May.
Facebook said Zients was vacating his seat “to devote more time to his business and other professional interests.” He joined the board in 2018 as an independent director.
Robert Kimmitt, a lawyer and former Deputy Secretary to the Department of the Treasury during the George W. Bush Administration is joining the Board immediately, as Lead Independent Director. He replaces Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, who was the former Lead Independent Director but left the board in October.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, said, “The lead independent director is an important role for us and we’ve been looking for a leader who can bring significant oversight and governance experience."
Kimmitt held numerous posts during the administrations of George Bush Senior and George Bush Junior, including Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Under Secretary of State and US Ambassador to Germany.
Zients’s departure is the latest in a series of surprise exits from Facebook’s Board. The company has announced the departures of five independent directors in the past year; Zients, Erskine Bowles, Reed Hastings, Susan Desmond-Hellmann and Kenneth Chenault, who announced his departure only two weeks ago.