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Facebook overhauls management structure, with focus on privacy

Facebook (FB) has brought about some fundamental changes to the organizational structure, after winding up the first quarter with blockbuster results that helped it shed the blues of the recent data breach scandal. The restructuring was set into motion after evaluating various security aspects and potential privacy loopholes in the wake of the controversy involving UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

The highlight of the management shakeup, the biggest in the company’s history, is the promotion of chief product officer Chris Cox as head of the “Family of apps” division, comprising Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. Cox is a long-time associate who serves as chief of staff to the CEO.

While the majority of the top executives will be either assuming new roles or taking up additional responsibilities, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is excluded from the reshuffle.

Jan Koum, the head of WhatsApp who stepped down recently, will be replaced by Chris Daniels who was in charge of the overseas activities of Internet.org. Koum is a co-founder of WhatsApp, the popular messaging platform that Facebook acquired four years ago.

The highlight of the management shakeup is the promotion of chief product officer Chris Cox as the head of “Family of apps” 

Instagram, the media sharing app which joined the social networking giant in 2012, will get a new product head – Adam Mosseri, who will move to Instagram from Facebook news feed, continuing his decade-long association with the company. At news feed, Mosseri will be replaced by John Hegeman, a key contributor to the development of the company’s ad-auction system. Mosseri is taking over the post vacated by Kevin Weil who is set to join Facebook’s blockchain unit.

Pursuant to the restructuring, Facebook’s product and engineering units were split into three main divisions. The “New Platforms and Infra” division will explore emerging technologies and products with primary focus on the development of blockchain group, the technology behind cryptocurrency trading. Chief financial officer Mike Schroepfer will be the head of the new division, which will have a new team responsible for information security and privacy.

The other division, “Central Product Services”, will manage advertising, security and growth and will be run by long-time executive Javier Olivan.

Meanwhile, Cranemere CEO Jeff Zients was appointed to Facebook’s board of directors and audit committee, lifting the number of board members to nine.

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