Facebook loses two top technology execs after Zuckerberg adopts privacy shift

Emily Nicolle
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Chief product officer Chris Cox was one of Facebook's earliest employees, spending 13 years at the company (Source: Getty)

Two senior Facebook technology executives have left the social media giant, days after its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company would be moving towards a “privacy-focused future”.

Zuckerberg said in a blog post that chief product officer Chris Cox, one of the firm’s earliest employees, and Whatsapp vice president Chris Daniels had resigned.

“As Mark has outlined, we are turning a new page in our product direction, focused on an encrypted, interoperable, messaging network... This will be a big project and we will need leaders who are excited to see the new direction through,” Cox said in a Facebook post.

Read more: Facebook to encrypt more messages in privacy drive

Zuckerberg said the firm does not immediately plan to fill Cox’s role, instead leaving the strategy of Facebook’s family of apps – Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp – to Cox’s former co-lead Javier Olivan.

Cox and Daniels’ departures follow the exits of Instagram’s co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in September, and Whatsapp co-founder Jan Koum in April last year.

The news comes after Facebook suffered its largest outage across the family of apps to date for about 24 hours, with issues being resolved late yesterday.

Read more: Global outages cripple Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram

Facebook said the disruption was the result of a “server configuration issue”, and that it was considering whether to refund advertisers for lost exposure.

The tech giant was also hit with a criminal investigation yesterday, after the New York Times reported that a US grand jury would probe Facebook over a series of data deals.

The jury is said to have asked two smartphone firms to hand over their records.