Chris Cox and Chris Daniels quit as Facebook shifts direction

Chris Cox and Chris Daniels quit as Facebook shifts direction

He had left a graduate program at Stanford University to join Facebook in 2005 as a software engineer and helped developed its original news feed feature.

Zuckerberg said Cox first mentioned he might leave a few years ago, but made a decision to stay on after 2016 as evidence emerged that Russians had manipulated Facebook's services to provoke discord in the US and influence the election won by President Donald Trump. The leaders of each of Facebook's main products (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp) will now report directly to Zuckerberg.

And just more than a week later, two of its biggest executives are leaving the company.

Zuckerberg said he has no plans to replace Cox, though Daniels will be replaced by Will Cathcart, another longtime Facebook veteran.

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. "But 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 wrote.

Also departing is WhatsApp Vice President Chris Daniels, adding to a string of recent high-profile exits from Facebook's product and communications teams. Daniels worked for Facebook for eight years, and was promoted to oversee WhatsApp last May.

"This will be a big project and we will need leaders who are excited to see the new direction through", he wrote, signaling that he wasn't "excited" about it himself. Meanwhile, Javier Olivan will lead the effort to better integrate the Facebook apps.

Daniels took the helm of WhatsApp after founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton left the messaging app a year ago, reportedly over disagreements about the increased integration of WhatsApp's operations with Facebook's.

Their departures come barely a week after Zuckerberg announced sweeping changes to Facebook, in order re-orient the social network around encryption and privacy.

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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