Home Social networking Facebook CTO resigns – East Bay Times

Facebook CTO resigns – East Bay Times


By Kurt Wagner | Bloomberg

Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer, a 13-year veteran who oversees the social network’s work in artificial intelligence, virtual reality and blockchain, will step down next year.

Another longtime Facebook executive, Andrew Bosworth, will take over as CTO, according to an internal post from CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday. Schroepfer’s move marks the most significant departure from the company in years and follows the recent exits of several other senior executives.

Known as “Schrep”, Schroepfer joined Facebook in 2008 and has been CTO since 2013, reporting to Zuckerberg. He sits atop several of Facebook’s most ambitious organizations, including groups that the social network depends on for its future growth, such as engineering, infrastructure, augmented and virtual reality, and Unity blockchain and finance. Her office is next to Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook headquarters.

Schroepfer’s most central role has been his oversight of Facebook’s AI organization, which he helped build. This group is developing the technology that Facebook uses to automatically find and remove content that violates its policies, such as nudity, hate speech and graphic violence.

Menlo Park-based Facebook is under increasing pressure to improve the AI ​​systems it uses to monitor user content, fight fake news, and remove harassing or offensive messages. This pressure has increased following a series of reports in the Wall Street Journal last week that found evidence describing the company’s difficulties in dealing with issues such as Covid-19 misinformation and trafficking. human being.

With billions of global users to serve, Facebook executives have indicated that AI technology is the best way to control posts on such a large scale. The technology is far from perfect, and Facebook also uses thousands of human content moderators to monitor posts on its apps.

Schroepfer, 46, will continue to advise the company in a new role of part-time senior fellow, helping to recruit technical talent and develop the company’s artificial intelligence initiatives.

“This new position will also create more space for me to devote time to my family and personal philanthropic efforts while remaining deeply connected to the business,” Schroepfer wrote in an internal post.

Facebook shares slipped in extended trading in the wake of the news, falling about 0.5%. The stock had fallen 4% to its lowest level in two months at $ 343.21 in regular trading after warning that Apple Inc.’s new limits on mobile app data collection would hold back the results of the third trimester.

Prior to joining Facebook, Schroepfer worked for web browser maker Mozilla. A graduate of Stanford University, he has become one of Facebook’s most visible executives, often speaking at events and at the annual Facebook Developer Conference. He represented the social network at a hearing before the British Parliament to discuss the Cambridge Analytica data sharing scandal in 2018.

He is also highly publicized internally, appearing frequently at company-wide meetings, and is the executive sponsor of the internal “Women @ Facebook” employee group.

Schroepfer’s departure means a step forward for Bosworth, 39, who is also one of the company’s longest-serving executives. He has held several positions since joining Facebook after meeting Zuckerberg while the CEO was still a student, most notably heading the company’s advertising organization. For the past several years, Bosworth has led Facebook Reality Labs, the company’s AR and VR efforts, including its plans to develop a virtual metaverse.

“Boz will continue to lead Facebook Reality Labs and oversee our work in augmented reality, virtual reality and more, and as part of this transition, a few other groups will also join Facebook Reality Labs over the next year,” Zuckerberg wrote. to employees.

Facebook has lost a number of senior executives in recent months. Fiji Simo, the head of the company’s flagship social networking app, left in July to become CEO of Instacart Inc., and was joined shortly after by Carolyn Everson, who was vice president of Facebook. and led its global business relationships with advertisers. The two women had been on Facebook for over 10 years.

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