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

Product officer Chris Cox speaks at the first day of the social media week at the Landmark centre in Lagos Nigeria. Two top Facebook executives are leaving the company including Cox who

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.

The CEO reiterated that the company is organizing around a "privacy-focused" emphasis on private messaging, which he announced last week. Whether the executive departures are connected to Facebook's decision shift focus from public sharing to messaging as it works to connect the back ends of its messaging services is unknown.

Cox joined Facebook in 2005 as one of its original software developers. Both men are long-serving Facebook veterans - Cox was one of Facebook's earliest employees, and Daniels has been with the company since 2011 - and trusted lieutenants of Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook's top leadership has seen turmoil over past year, Instagram's co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger departed abruptly after clashing with Zuckerberg over the platform's future.

"The leaders of Facebook (Fidji Simo), Instagram (Adam Mosseri), Messenger (Stan Chudnovsky), and WhatsApp (Will Cathcart) will report directly to me, and our Chief Marketing Officer (Antonio Lucio) will report directly to Sheryl (Sandberg)", Zuckerberg announced. It's trying to fend off a criminal investigation surrounding data deals that it made with other companies and an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over privacy concerns. 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.

Product officer Chris Cox speaks at the first day of the social media week at the Landmark centre in Lagos Nigeria. Two top Facebook executives are leaving the company including Cox who
Facebook loses two important executives amid new privacy push

In his post, Zuckerberg announced further reorganization of the company's top ranks and the departure of Chris Daniels, another executive who ran Internet.org, the company's philanthropic project to promote global internet access, and was recently promoted to lead WhatsApp.

Daniel was in India past 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.

The Facebook app will be overseen by Fidji Simo, who led the team for much of the past year while Cathcart was on paternity leave.

And just more than a week later, two of its biggest executives are leaving the company. That path will determine whether Facebook can fix its tarnished image or continue to suffer a steady drip of unflattering headlines and rack up more executive departures.

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