Facebook's chief product officer and head of Whatsapp are leaving

Chris Cox was Facebook’s Chief Product Officer

Zuckerberg recently announced that Facebook would emphasize user privacy more via encrypted messaging, a significant directional shift from the company's long-time goal of openness and connectedness.

Two senior executives at Facebook left the company this week, with one of them emphasizing Facebook's need to find leaders who were "excited" about the new direction of the social media company, according to CNN Business. He joined 13 years ago and helped create Facebook's news feed feature.

Facebook today announced that it's chief of product, Chris Cox and the head of WhatsApp Chris Daniels are leaving the company. "As part of this, I'm sad to share the news that Chris Cox has chose to leave the company", he wrote. Considering WhatsApp is a platform already focused on privacy and being one of the only Facebook apps to have end-to-end encryption at this time, it's quite surprising to see Daniels leaving just a week after Facebook's privacy-focused announcement. Daniels worked for Facebook for eight years, and was promoted to oversee WhatsApp last May.

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 chose to stay after 2016 to help improve the social network.


A WhatsApp spokesman declined to comment on Daniels' departure or make him available for comment.

Fidji Simo, head of video, games and monetization, will be the new head of the Facebook app, Mark Zuckerberg said in a blogpost. And Simo, along with the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, head of Messenger Stan Chudnovsky, and head of WhatsApp Will Cathcart, will report directly to Zuckerberg.

"This is an important change as we begin the next chapter of our work building the privacy-focused social foundation of the future", Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a statement.

The move will more tightly integrate the three apps - a move that critics say could have potential antitrust implications and which reportedly has sparked disagreement among some of Facebook's senior employees.

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