Mike Schroepfer, after 13 years at the company and serving as one of its top executives, is leaving the post to transition to part-time role.
By guest author Meghan Bobwrosky from the Wall Street Journal.
Mike Schroepfer has been with Facebook for 13 years and will become its first senior fellow, Mr. Zuckerberg said. In the part-time role, Mr. Schroepfer said, he would focus on recruiting and developing technical talent, improving project infrastructure and overseeing artificial intelligence developments.
The transition of one of its most senior executives comes at a time of intensified scrutiny from regulators, lawmakers and others about how Facebook and its technology affect public discourse and the health of its users. Mr. Schroepfer’s role, among other tasks, has included leading Facebook’s effort to increase the use of artificial intelligence to try to deal with problematic content on the platform that has fuelled that growing criticism in recent years.
Scrutiny of the company intensified again last week with a Wall Street Journal series examining what the company knows about the flaws of its platform and the harm they cause. Facebook’s Oversight Board said this week in response to one of the Journal’s articles that it would review the company’s cross-check system that holds high-profile users to a different set of standards than regular users. Facebook has defended that program and said the Journal’s coverage is unfair.
Mr. Schroepfer informed Facebook on Monday that he intended to step down after a transition period, according to a company regulatory filing on Wednesday. He is one of the biggest individual holders of Facebook stock, with over one million shares, according to FactSet, valued at roughly USD 360 million.
Mr. Schroepfer said in a post on Facebook that the change in role would let him dedicate more time to his family and personal philanthropic efforts while staying connected to the company. “This is a difficult decision because of how much I love Facebook and how excited I am about the future we are building together,” he said.
Mr. Zuckerberg said Andrew Bosworth, head of Facebook’s Reality Labs unit, would become the next CTO. Mr. Bosworth will retain his role as the head of Reality Labs and oversee the company’s work on issues such as augmented and virtual reality, Mr. Zuckerberg said. The Facebook CEO has said virtual spaces represent an increasingly important arena for user engagement on the internet.
Earlier Wednesday, Facebook’s vice president of product, Graham Mudd, said Apple Inc.’s recent changes to enhance privacy for users are impeding tools that it uses to help advertisers judge how effective their campaigns are. Facebook’s shares closed down 4% in Wednesday, September 22, 2021 trading.