Mark Zuckerberg loses two key Facebook executives

Chris Cox was Facebook’s Chief Product Officer

Chris Cox was Facebook’s Chief Product Officer

Chris Cox, the social network's head of product, and Chris Daniels, who ran the WhatsApp messaging service, have both made a decision to leave Facebook, Mr Zuckerberg announced on Thursday. Chris Cox was responsible for Facebook's flagship apps - including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook itself.

"Embarking on this new vision represents the start of a new chapter for us", Zuckerberg said in describing the changes amid a new direction in company strategy outlined by Zuckerberg last week.

Cox worked on some of Facebook's key products, including the social network's News Feed, and led the product and design teams.

Cox informed the company of his intention to resign on Monday, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday. Facebook's chief product officer, Chris Cox, and Chris Daniels, who heads the messaging app WhatsApp, are departing.

For the past two years, Facebook has been roiled by data scandals, a failure to police its service, and a major shift in strategy to focus on privacy. "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.

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Fidji Simo will take over as the head of the Facebook app.

The company does not immediately plan to fill Cox's role, Zuckerberg said, adding that Cathcart, Simo and the heads of Instagram and Messenger will now report directly to him.

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.

Originally published March 14, 1:19 p.m. Update, 1:48 p.m.: Includes more background and Zuckerberg's post to employees; 1:55 p.m.: Adds background about other executive departures; 2:15 p.m.: Includes post from Chris Cox.

With Daniels' departure, WhatsApp will be led by Will Cathcart, who most recently led the Facebook app. "At the same time, as we embark on this new chapter, Chris Daniels has also chose to leave the company". Daniels is leaving less than a year after WhatsApp founder Jan Koum resigned in an apparent dispute with Zuckerberg over the future direction of the widely used messaging service.

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