Facebook’s management shakeup sees company explore blockchain

Facebook has just experienced the greatest reshuffling of executive responsibility since the company’s beginnings, naming new leaders for some of its biggest divisions including WhatsApp, Messenger and the core social network.

The California-based social media giant has also revealed a new initiative to explore blockchain, the decentralised ledger technology that underpins the value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Facebook’s management shakeup sees company explore blockchain

Facebook’s management shakeup creates a new division to explore blockchain, the ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Photo: Michael Wuensch, Pixabay

David Marcus, who formerly ran the Messenger app, will lead the team dedicated to exploring blockchain. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, has been given a promotion to supervise all of the company’s many apps. The head of Facebook’s core experience is now Will Cathcart.

Adam Mosseri, the former head of managing the News Feed, has been declared the head of Instagram. Mr Mosseri replaces Kevin Weil, who is now joining David Marcus in the blockchain division.

Chris Daniels, the man formerly heading Facebook’s Internet.org imitative (that aimed to establish internet access in developing nations), is now taking over WhatsApp after the resignation of the app’s co-founder Jan Koum who declared his intentions to leave last month.

This leadership changeup comes after broad internal review of their products and recent data privacy concerns (most notably the Cambridge Analytica leak involving tens of millions of Facebook users). For years, Facebook has maintained a stable structure to its management even though it’s not unusual for leadership changes to occur within a company this size.

According to a regulatory filing, Facebook also added CEO of the Cranemere Group and former Obama administration official Jeff Zients to their board.

Whether these changes are prompted by the rise of blockchain technology or in response to data privacy concerns is anyone’s guess. The likely truth is that both factors have influenced Facebook’s decision to undertake such a broad leadership reshuffle.