Facebook loses two important executives amid new privacy push

Facebook loses two important executives amid new privacy push

The company announced it's planning to shift its focus towards privacy and protecting users' information, something it has failed to do in recent times.

"While it is sad to lose such great people, this also creates opportunities for more great leaders who are energized about the path ahead to take on new and bigger roles", Zuckerberg said.

"It is with great sadness I share with you that after thirteen years, I've chose to leave the company", Cox wrote in his post.

Cox was a critical executive at Facebook, working there for more than a decade, helping design and run the news feed and then rising in the ranks to oversee all product at Facebook.

Chris Daniels, who took charge of WhatsApp after the founders' departure past year, is also leaving the company.

Like many other longtime Facebook executives, Cox is unlikely to ever have to work again if he doesn't want to. Zuckerberg wrote that Cox considered leaving years ago to pursue new projects, but he chose to stay in 2016, around the time Facebook began taking heat for acting as a conduit for misinformation and Russian election interference.

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Media reports cite sources inside Facebook who said the new privacy focus was partially why Cox made a decision to leave. He pocketed $310 million in gains from exercising Facebook stock options from 2014 through 2017 alone, according to the company's filings with securities regulators. He was named the head of WhatsApp less than a year ago. Zuckerberg announced that Will Cathcart will be the new head of WhatsApp and Fidji Simo will be the new head of the Facebook app.

Facebook isn't hiring another executive to replace Cox.

Numerous changes Zuckerberg outlined involve duplicating some of WhatsApp's features in Facebook's other messaging apps.

That effort will include introducing WhatsApp encryption technology to Facebook's Messenger app and Instagram's messaging option.

Facebook's social network and Instagram photo app won't change, and will remain available for sharing places, adventures and minutiae with a broader audience. In a memo to employees, Zuckerberg suggested the events were linked. In the past two years, the founders of Facebook acquisitions Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus have left for various reasons, often over strategy.

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