Chris Cox, Facebook chief product officer, to leave firm

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced the high profile departures of the social media giant’s chief product officer Chris Cox and head of WhatsApp Chris Daniels. The departure of Cox is a particular surprise, given that he has worked at the firm since 2005 and introduced key features to the service including its News Feed.

No public reason has been given for the shake-up, but it comes very soon after Zuckerberg published plans to transform Facebook into a “privacy-focused platform”. It also comes just a few days after the firm suffered its worst ever outage, though this will not have had anything to do with Cox’s departure. Instead, industry reports suggest Cox believes now is the right time for him to pursue other interests – as the company embarks on implementing Zuckerberg’s new strategy.

Zuckerberg is not planning to appoint anyone to Cox’s role. Instead, the leaders of Facebook (Fidji Simo), Instagram (Adam Mosseri), Messenger (Stan Chudnovsky) and WhatsApp (Will Cathcart – taking over from Chris Daniels) will report directly to him. Facebook has lost several top executives recently, including its general counsel, chief security officer, and co-founders of WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus.

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