Facebook Rehires Chris Cox As It's Head Of Products
Chris Cox, former top Facebook deputy, is returning to the team after leaving in March of 2019 due to disagreements with CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Cox plans to return to the company as the team’s head of product, the same job he resigned from over a year ago, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
Along with overseeing the company’s largest products like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, the job also requires that Cox follow out Zuckerberg’s vision for the company. Cox resigned after disagreeing with the CEO about topics surrounding that issue.
Cox and Zuckerberg’s disagreements heated up after the CEO announced a desire to unify the company’s products around encrypted messages and other topics. Cox was worried that encryption would impede detection of terrorism, child trafficking, and other criminal activity. Cox also urged the company to prioritize countering the spread of misinformation and divisive content, which Facebook failed to do. It is unclear whether the disagreements have been solved, but Cox says that he has been “encouraged by progress on so many of the big issues facing us” which has impacted his decision to return. Employees have expressed similar concerns about Facebook’s policies with political speech and the company’s lack of action toward Donald Trump’s use of the platform.
Cox began discussing his return with Zuckerberg about a month ago. He is scheduled to begin work on June 22.
“2020 refocused us all, on a public health crisis, an economic crisis, and now a reckoning of racial injustice. The world is unsettled, divided. People are struggling when things were already hard,” he said, also stating that Facebook is “the best place for me to roll up my sleeves and dig in to help.”
Many employees at Facebook seem to be happy about the move for Cox to rejoin the team following some of their own concerns about content moderation and President Trump’s use of the site. Some employees staged walkouts and others resigned.
“For people who want to see Facebook succeed, this is Christmas morning,” said Donald Graham, a former Facebook board member who has known Mr. Cox for years. “Chris’s return is the best news I could imagine for the company.”
During his time away from Facebook, Cox took part in political issues like climate change and other progressive issues. While Cox has expressed his lack of support for the sitting president, he agrees with Facebook’s decision to stay away from regulating his use of the platform due to their responsibility to stay neutral in regard to politics.
Read the full report here.