Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Returns After Resigning a Year Ago

George Paul June 12, 2020
Facebook
Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Chris Cox, an early Facebook employee, will return to the social media giant as its Chief Product Officer, the position he left just over one year ago. He rejoins the company on June 22.

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The company also announced that Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams will now report directly to Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg instead of VP of Human Resources Janelle Gale, according to an internal memo obtained by TechCrunch.

Cox stepped away from Facebook in March 2019 after clashing with CEO Mark Zuckerberg over expanding the interoperability of the company’s apps including its main app, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

As Chief Product Officer, Cox will oversee efforts related to Facebook’s family of apps, which he said have “never been more relevant to our future.”

Cox initially joined Facebook 15 years ago. He began working on Facebook’s product team in 2008 and in 2014 he became the company’s Chief Product Officer. In his year away from the company he has spent his time working on climate change initiatives, building progressive political infrastructure, playing in a reggae band, and reconnecting with his family.

In a Facebook post announcing his return, Cox stated, “I reached out to Mark awhile ago and I told him I’d be interested to help. I’ve been following Facebook and I’ve been encouraged by progress on so many of the big issues facing us. In the past month the world has grown more chaotic and unstable, which has only given me more resolve to help out. Our most important decisions and products are ahead of us.”

Cox rejoins Facebook at a turbulent time, as the company has experienced internal dissent over its inaction around controversial posts made by President Donald Trump. The company also has to grapple with Trump’s recent executive order that aimed at strengthening the government’s ability to regulate social media platforms.

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