Two more top Facebook executives leave the company

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

Facebook loses two important executives amid new privacy push

The move will more tightly integrate the three apps - a move that critics say could have potential antitrust implications and which reportedly has sparked disagreement among some of Facebook's senior employees.

Facebook's top executive in charge of all products, Chris Cox, the longtime confidant of Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, is leaving the company, the highest-level departure at the social media giant and follows almost two years of sustained crises.

It is also interesting to see the head of WhatsApp Chris Daniels leaving Facebook right now.

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Cox made his announcement in on his Facebook page, saying he was leaving "with great sadness" after 13 years.

These apps have been distinct until recently, when Zuckerberg announced plans to unify them under a banner of/with a new focus on privacy. He's shown here with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"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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While Zuckerberg also said that Cox had spoken before about his desire to leave the company, that his departure is tied directly to Facebook's so-called privacy pivot, is significant.

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

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. "Instead, 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". It's a product vision attuned to the subject matter of today: a modern communications platform that balances expression, safety, security, and privacy. In a memo to employees, Zuckerberg suggested the events were linked.

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