Last May, after a decade of unusual stability in his executive ranks, Mark Zuckerberg announced a series of dramatic changes. He moved two senior executives to create a new block unit and install new leaders at WhatsApp and News Feed. (He also appointed someone to run a new group focusing on privacy initiatives that was never heard again.) And for Chris Cox, the company's chief producer and one of Zuckerberg's most trusted lieutenants, this one move was a consolidation of power: leaders from the Facebook application, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger would report back to him
Zuckerberg, who became famous for his epic length blogs in recent months, was unusual for the strategic thinking behind these movements. But at some point another strategy began to emerge: the one that he revealed last week that he promised to move the company to a future dominated not by public broadcasting but by private encrypted messages. Today, with this new upward strategy, Zuckerberg has announced another series of dramatic changes. Chris Cox left the company after more than a decade. And the change in direction seems to be a great reason why. (See Ryan Mac for further reports on this issue.)
Here's how Coke describes the reasons for his departure, as noted by Nick Thompson and Fred Fogelstein in Wired :
Mark pointed out, we are turning a new page into our product direction, focusing on an encrypted, interoperable messaging network. This is a product vision, tailored to today's question: a modern communications platform that balances expression, safety, security and privacy. This will be a great project and we will need leaders who are excited to see the new direction. "
I wrote this on an airplane back south from the Southwest, where I interviewed Facebook's former Facebook security guard, Alex Stamos, on Planned Passing Facebook to Personal Messages. Stamos said he thought the Zuckerberg Memorandum was burning the boat ̵
the way ahead, it's hard not to sympathize with Cox's decision to leave. In a farewell post, Zuckerberg said Cox had hoped to leave "a few years ago," but then the consequences of the 2016 elections followed and they made it impossible. (No top manager wants to be seen through the door during the worst crisis in the company's history.) Coke led the creation of one of the most successful technology products in history in terms of growth and revenue, and who can blame him no At the same time, the move will probably be bad for morality. Coke has long been among the most popular executives in the company, as a long-time leader in new employee guidance and vocal cheerleader for Facebook internally. (The view of the movie star also helps.) It seems fair to say that cultural appreciation over social media has caught him (like myself and many others) unprepared – he makes much less interviews than in 2016 than in years ago when he was still playing to talk to people like me about launching products.
Coke may have waited more than two years to write his farewell blog, but it still remains awkward for Facebook – as a new criminal investigation is routed to New York for data sharing practices and one day after long memory stays. Of course, it's never a good time to leave this job – but it could almost certainly be better .
Zuckerberg said today that he would not appoint Cox's deputy as Chief. product employee. Instead, Javier Olivan, who runs a division of the "central product services", will take over the task of further homogenizing the family from Facebook applications while their individual leaders will report to Zuckerberg himself.
Chris Daniels is on WhatsApp . Daniels, who previously ruled Internet.org, made several public remarks during the 10 months that he led WhatsApp. On the one hand, the company continued to grow, especially in its major markets such as Brazil and India; on the other hand, it has caused a nearly constant series of public relations crises, as it has been used to spread disinformation and hate speech around the world. Relatively or not, Daniels has made a powerful enemy in the Indian government, and I imagine Zuckerberg sees a reversal in the wiping of the clean top again.
Will Catcart takes over for Daniels . Cathcart is a sharp, cautious leader who has previously run the information channel. To get an idea of how he thinks, check out this long and productive conversation I had with him in 2016 about Facebook's role in journalism. My only mockery with this move is the optics. The WhatsApp leader is, among other things, a diplomat. I wonder if Zuckerberg will be better served by someone with confidence in India, Brazil or another top WhatsApp market. Which means: no other white man from Menlo Park.
Fiji Simo takes the Facebook app . Simo is a dynamic speaker, good product thinking, and – still very rare in the top rows of Facebook – a woman. It was not great that it was bestowed on the will of Big Blue in the month when Zuckerberg described it as a news release yesterday. But last year it showed us that this is the first place on the bench on Facebook. Adam Mosery, who had him until last May, now runs Instagram; Kathcart, who had it up to now, now runs WhatsApp. So expect Simo's star to keep growing.
Two last notes: one when the Facebook story is written, mark March 14, 2019 as the end of the news age. Cox helped to design the first iterations of the news bar and watched him during his most successful phase. It will not disappear overnight, but on its huge scale it can show a resilience similar to Yahoo. But with the departure of Cox, her days as a central organizing principle on Facebook are now officially behind him.
Two, many sources told me that Cox had a secret Twitter account and used it to keep up with the comments on Facebook while he worked. Now that he's out of the company, with countless millions to invest and the rest of his career ahead of him, I hope the Twitter account will come out of hiding.
Microsoft, Facebook, Confidence and Privacy 19659018] Benedict Evans has a really good companion in Facebook's privacy relationship, in which he describes it as an attempt to solve the most pressing problems on the platform by making a part from the platform inappropriate. I agree with Evans: this is the most likely way that Facebook actually "solves" some of the problems it has been focusing on since 2016.
Like the transition from Windows to cloud and ChromeOS, you can see this as attempt to remove the problem instead of patching it. Russians can not become viral in your news if there is no news. "Researchers" can not delete your data if Facebook does not have your data. You solve the problem by making it irrelevant.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey praises, appears on podcast of anti-vaccine fitness
At some point I will write the story of Twitter as a Veep ] that never ends. Favorite episodes will include Twitter, which will accidentally stop Jack Dorsey's account; Dorsey provoked an international incident by holding a sign someone had handed to him in India; and the launch of the second international incident by retreating for meditation in a country where social networks have contributed to genocide. podcast and … ups, the podcast is an anti-walnut! Now I'd like to request a shot, Doctor … something that breaks me for the rest of the flight.
Talk to me
Send me the tips, comments, questions and best recommendations for the next Chris Cox move: firstname.lastname@example.org.