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Kenneth Chenault, the chairman and managing director of General Catalyst and former American Express CEO, is stepping down from Facebook’s board of directors following disagreements with CEO Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s governance and political policies, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The news comes on the heels of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gate’s announcement on Friday that he would be leaving the boards of both Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to focus more time on his philanthropic efforts. A SEC filing revealed that Chenault has been nominated to Berkshire Hathaway’s board, to replace Gates.
The social networking giant’s board has seen a number of significant departures in the last year, including former Clinton administration chief of staff Erskine Bowles, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and former Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellman.
In a statement shared by Facebook, Chenault said, “I am stepping down from the board because I have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work more closely with my friend Warren Buffett, the Berkshire Hathaway board and the management team. I also believe good corporate governance entails limiting the number of board commitments for any director.”
With regard to his time serving on Facebook’s board, Chenault said, “During the time I served on the board, the company made progress in dealing with new challenges and continued to expand its reach and to grow the business. I wish Mark, the directors, and the management team all the best as they lead the company going forward.”
Earlier this week, Facebook announced the addition of former McKinsey & Co. executive Nancy Killefer and Estée Lauder Co. finance chief Tracey Travis to its board. Last month, Mark Zuckerberg’s friend, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, also joined the board.
Zuckerberg thanked Chenault for his contribution to Facebook saying, “It’s been an honor to have a leader of Ken’s caliber and experience on our board and we learned a lot from him.”