Facebook says Chief Product Officer Chris Cox is leaving | Tech

Jeannie Matthews
March 16, 2019

These apps have been distinct until recently, when Zuckerberg announced plans to unify them under with a new focus on privacy.

"Most all my personal highs and lows of the last decade have been tied up in the journey of this company, with Mark, and with so many of you", Cox wrote in a post.

Mr Cox was one of Facebook's first software developers and one of the chief architects of the news feed, the cascade of Facebook posts that is the company's most lucrative source of advertising. Facebook's chief product officer, Chris Cox, and Chris Daniels, who heads the messaging app WhatsApp, are departing. "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 unexpected departure, which he and Zuckerberg announced in separate Facebook posts Thursday, comes months after Cox was promoted in a major reorganization.

"After 2016, we both realized we had too much important work to do to improve our products for society, and he stayed to help us work through these issues and help us chart a course for our family of apps going forward", Zuckerberg said.

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And just more than a week later, two of its biggest executives are leaving the company. 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's joined on his way out the door by Chris Daniels, Vice President of WhatsApp.

Cox and Daniels are among a string of executives who've left Facebook since 2017.

Chris Cox was put in charge of some of Facebook's most important features, including Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp - which together have over 2.7 billion users worldwide. Meanwhile, Javier Olivan will lead the effort to better integrate the Facebook apps. The longtime Facebook executive Will Cathcart will head up WhatsApp.

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. He was also seen as a standard bearer for Facebook's internal culture, which means that his departure may say even more about the company's future.

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