In his latest role as product chief, a position he held for 10 months, Cox led strategy for the company's family of apps. "As part of this, I'm sad to share the news that Chris Cox has chose to leave the company", he wrote. Cox started off at Facebook as an engineer working on News Feed, but he later moved on to other parts of the company and became one of the biggest leaders at the company after Mark Zuckerberg.
In his blog post, Zuckerberg said that Cox had told him that he planned to move on several years ago, but that Cox chose to hold off on leaving until the company made more progress combating misinformation and Russian meddling - controversies that erupted in the wake of the 2016 election.
While Cox gave no specific reason for his move, he noted that Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled a new direction away from being the "digital town square" to focus on smaller-scale, private interactions.
Zuckerberg told Wired magazine on March 6 that "there will be a bunch of work inside the company to make sure that we have the right folks in the right roles" to bring Facebook's apps together and introduce more privacy features. It also means that Zuckerberg will seize control of Facebook's key products by making the leaders of its most important properties like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp report directly to him-at least for the near term. Daniels will be replaced by Will Cathcart as the head of WhatsApp, however.
Media reports cite sources inside Facebook who said the new privacy focus was partially why Cox made a decision to leave.
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The departures of Cox and Daniels come a day after a technical issue that limited use of Facebook and Instagram for most of Wednesday.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world, with 2.3 billion monthly active users.
Cox gained greater oversight of WhatsApp and Instagram following the exits of their founders over the last two years.
Perhaps more than anyone else at Facebook - even more than COO Sheryl Sandberg - Cox was a sounding board for Zuckerberg on product ideas.
Fidji Simo will take over as the head of the Facebook app.