Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Science | By Celia Watts

Facebook undergoes a huge executive reshuffle

Facebook undergoes a huge executive reshuffle

This new division will be dedicated to exploring the ways to leverage this nascent technology.

Back in January, as part of his New Year's resolution, Mark Zuckerberg said that he wanted to fix Facebook's problems and that he was going to study what virtual currencies are and how they work.

Former PayPal president and Coinbase board member David Marcus is to head up a new blockchain unit at Facebook. However, they also come amid black eyes Facebook has received over the past year from revelations of fake news posts by Russian operatives during the US presidential election and the massive collection of Facebook user data by Cambridge Analytica. The company also announced today that Jeff Zients, the CEO of Cranemere, a holding company for businesses in the US and Europe, has been appointed to Facebook's board of directors.

So what could Facebook be doing with a distributed ledger technology that, in its essence, is at odds with the premise of a centralized company like Facebook. While enabling some of the seasoned veterans to tackle more emerging technologies within the company. The changes are related to the appointment of new leaders for WhatsApp, Messenger and the Facebook app.

Marcus has been leading the Messenger team for four years, but joined cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase's board of directors in December 2017.

Facebook confirmed the answer to Week Facts yet did not share any remarks to Recode's report.

According to tech news website Recode, Facebook has made long-time executive Chris Cox in-charge of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger - now called a "family of apps". As Marcus moves to a different vertical, Stan Chudnovsky, Messenger product chief, will now take his place as the head of the service.

Marcus will be joined by Kevin Weil, head of product at Instagram, who is leaving his current role to join the blockchain division.

The report comes as Facebook has faced fallout over data privacy and "fake news", amid revelations of data sales to outside firms like Cambridge Analytica, and evidence of Russian election interference.

WhatsApp has been given a relatively free hand since 2014, when Facebook bought it for $22 billion, but in recent months its two co-founders have announced their resignations, opening the door to closer integration.

Mark Zuckerberg, remains the CEO of Facebook while Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer is his second in command.

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