Facebook’s stock was under pressure Friday (March 15), reaching its lowest point in three months after it announced Chris Cox, chief product officer, is leaving the social media giant.
According to a report in Reuters, Wall Street viewed the departure of Cox as bad news given he’s been at Facebook for thirteen years and headed up the business development team that came up with the WhatsApp strategy. In a research report late last week JPMorgan said Cox played a critical role in creating the social media giant’s mission, value and culture. The Wall Street firm said Cox was “extremely well-regarded” inside and outside of Facebook, including by Wall Street. Cox isn’t the only executive jumping ship. Reuters reported Chris Daniels, WhatsApp vice president, is also leaving the social media company.
In addition to the high profile departure of Cox, Reuters reported Facebook’s stock was under pressure after the New Zealand mosque terrorist attacks were lived streamed on Facebook. That act pushed Facebook, Twitter, and Google back into the conversation about how technology companies are enabling the spread of extremist content on their platforms. “The live-streaming of New Zealand’s shooting will certainly bring on more questions of regulation and scrutiny over Facebook. It helped provide a platform for today’s horrific attack and will undoubtedly be called into question for facilitating the spread of this,” Clement Thibault, an analyst at global financial markets platform Investing.com, told Reuters. After the attack unfolded, the social media firm said it was pulling content involving the mass shootings. For some time now Facebook has been working to clean up its social media network, investing serious money in getting rid of fake news and hate content on its network.
In addition to the departure of Cox and the live streaming of the mass shootings, Facebook also suffered its longest outage last week. The outage lasted hours, which the company blamed on a server configuration change that cause a series of issues.