Chris Cox, Facebook's Chief Product Officer and key lieutenant of Mark Zuckerberg, is leaving the company amid a leadership reshuffle. The change comes following an announcement last week that the social media giant is shifting to a privacy-focused vision for social networking.
In a memo, Facebook's CEO & co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg said: "As we embark on this next major chapter, Chris has decided now is the time to step back from leading these teams. I will really miss Chris, but mostly I am deeply grateful for everything he has done to build this place and serve our community."
Cox was one of Facebook’s first 15 engineers, joining in 2005 after Zuckerberg convinced him to drop out of Stanford. He became Facebook’s Director of Human Resources and then in 2008, its VP of product where he helped build Facebook's core products, including the News Feed. His exit is the highest-profile executive departure at the company in years.
The role of chief product officer will not be filled by anyone. Instead, the heads of Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram will now report directly to Zuckerberg, which is an interesting move because it brings product decision power even closer to the CEO.
It was also announced that Chris Daniels is leaving the company and will be replaced by Will Cathart as VP of WhatsApp. Fidji Simo will be taking over Cathart's old job as VP of Facebook's core app. Adam Mosseri, VP of Instagram, and Stan Chudnovsky, VP of Messenger, are staying in their current roles and will now report directly to Mark Zuckerberg.