Facebook product chief Chris Cox & WhatsApp head Chris Daniels to exit

Facebook Facebook product chief leaving Facebook Chris Cox leaving Chris Facebook leaving Facebook privacy Facebook issues Facebook CEO Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Facebook news

Facebook Facebook product chief leaving Facebook Chris Cox leaving Chris Facebook leaving Facebook privacy Facebook issues Facebook CEO Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Facebook news

"He believes deeply in providing end-to-end encryption to everyone in the world across our services", Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post, welcoming Will Cathcart as the new head of WhatsApp.

Cox's departure removes a layer of management, bringing Zuckerberg closer to a family of apps that he wants to make compatible, in what technology analysts expect will be a complicated engineering task.

Cox, 36, worked closely with Zuckerberg through the company's ups and downs, having joined up about 20 months after Facebook was hatched in 2004 in Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room.

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. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Cox informed Facebook about his intended departure on March 11, just five days after Zuckerberg made his privacy plan public.

Media reports cite sources inside Facebook who said the new privacy focus was partially why Cox made a decision to leave.

In addition to Cox, Zuckerberg also said on Thursday that Chris Daniels, vice president of WhatsApp, is stepping down.




Will Cathcart was announced as the new lead on WhatsApp, while Zuckerberg, apparently consolidating power as he prepares to merge the apps in some way or another, states he does "not plan on immediately appointing anyone to fill Chris's role in the near term".

Facebook isn't hiring another executive to replace Cox. Instead, the managers of Facebook's apps - which include the flagship Facebook app, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp - will report directly to Zuckerberg. "This will be a big project and we will need leaders who are excited to see the new direction through", he said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

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.

Perhaps more than anyone else at Facebook - even more than COO Sheryl Sandberg - Cox was a sounding board for Zuckerberg on product ideas.

He said the new head of the Facebook-owned application would be Fidji Simo, who was previously in charge of video, games and monetization at Facebook.

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