Facebook's No. 3, Chris Cox, is leaving after privacy pivot

Facebook's chief product officer and head of Whatsapp are leaving

Facebook Inc. said on Thursday that Chief Product Officer Chris Cox is leaving, the highest-ranking executive to depart since the social-media giant became embroiled in crisis previous year. "As part of this, I'm sad to share the news that Chris Cox has chose to leave the company", he wrote.

Chris Cox, the chief product officer who was considered to be a close friend of Mr Zuckerberg, and Chris Daniels, the head of WhatsApp, are departing.

The departures come less than two weeks after Zuckerberg announced a shift in Facebook's focus toward privacy after years of criticisms over the company's handling of users' personal data.

Cox has been with Facebook for over 13 years, and helped build and News Feed and Facebook's mobile app, Daniels joined the company is 2011.

Zuckerberg said in a separate blog post on the same day that the veteran executive had considered moving on several years ago but stayed around after 2016. "This place will forever be a part of me". WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum left over disagreements with the Facebook leadership over WhatsApp's privacy and encryption.

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The departure of two top-level executives at Facebook further underscores the company is undergoing major, tumultuous changes in the wake of two straight years of numerous privacy, data, measurement and disinformation scandals.

SEE ALSO: Facebook's former chief security officer compares company to 'The Matrix.' Whoa.

Daniel was in India previous year where he met IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss ways to sanitise WhatsApp amid several lynching episodes that happened owing to the spread of rumours on the platform.

Mark isn't bringing on a new CPO to replace Cox - but will instead have FB, IG and WA heads report directly to him - at the very time the company is pivoting to integrate messaging across properties.

Daniels has been at Facebook almost nine years, and previously led the company's Internet.org effort, a project aimed at bringing internet access to developing countries. It's a huge job for Zuckerberg and all the leaders of Facebook's apps, so it's not going to be an easy job for anyone involved. Zuckerberg is also promising to make photos and posts automatically disappear from public view. "Facebook Inc.is a massive and evolving company, so it's only natural that in a company that large, not everyone will agree with every strategic change", she said.

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