Facebook's Long-time Chief Technology Officer Announces Departure
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) said its Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer, a 13-year veteran who oversees the social network's artificial intelligence, virtual reality and blockchain segments, will step down next year (2022).
Another long time Facebook executive, Andrew Bosworth, will take over as chief technology officer. Schroepfer leaving marks the most significant departure from the company in years and follows the recent exits of several other top executives.
Known as "Schrep" Schroepfer joined Facebook in 2008 and has been chief technology officer since 2013, reporting to directly to company CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He sits atop many of Facebook's most ambitious organizations -- including groups that the social network is depending on for future growth -- such as engineering, infrastructure, augmented reality and virtual reality, as well as the blockchain and finance unit.
Schroepfer's most central role has been his oversight of Facebook's artificial intelligence organization, which he helped build. That group develops the technology Facebook uses to automatically find and remove content that violates its policies, like nudity, hate speech and graphic violence.
Menlo Park, California-based Facebook has come under escalating pressure to improve its artificial intelligence systems it uses to police user content, fight false information and remove harassing or offensive posts.
Schroepfer, age 46, will continue to advise the company in a new part-time "senior fellow" role, helping with recruiting technical talent and developing the company's artificial intelligence initiatives.
Facebook has lost several veteran executives in recent months. Fidji Simo, the head of the company's flagship social networking app, left in July to become CEO at Instacart and was joined there shortly after by Carolyn Everson, who was a Facebook vice president running its global business relationships with advertisers.
Facebook stock slipped in premarket trading following the news, dropping about 0.5%. The stock had declined 4% to a two-month low of $343.21 U.S. in regular trading after warning that Apple's new limits on mobile apps' data collection will curb its third-quarter results.
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