May 8, 2018

Facebook splits into three units, shuffles execs

Facebook is reshuffling its organization and top product leadership, including new leaders for its Messenger, WhatsApp, and core Facebook apps, as Recode first reported and the company confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: CEO Mark Zuckerberg has revamped his nearly 15-year-old company the way a software developer would refactor an overgrown codebase, looking for new efficiencies and room to grow in new areas — one of which, blockchain, is getting its own new unit.

The company is now organized into three divisions: Family of apps, new platforms and infrastructure, and central product services.

Major exec moves:

  • Messenger chief (and Coinbase board member) David Marcus will head a new Blockchain division, with Instagram product chief Kevin Weil joining him. Stan Chudnovsky will take over Messenger.
  • Internet.org chief Chris Daniels will take over WhatsApp.
  • VP Will Cathcart will take over the main Facebook app, reporting to chief product officer Chris Cox. News Feed chief Adam Mosseri is heading over to Instagram to take Weil's VP of product job.
  • Additionally, PR chief Caryn Marooney will now split her duties with Rachel Whetstone, who joined after leaving Uber. Whetstone will focus on corporate communications while Marooney will handle the product side.

Missing something? Indeed, no women were involved in this mega-reorg, save for Naomi Gleit, who keeps her current role as head of integrity, growth, and product management but moves to the new central product services unit.

  • As Recode points out, the company does have high-ranking female execs, including COO Sheryl Sandberg; video chief Fidji Simo; Deb Liu, who heads marketplaces; and Julie Zhuo, who heads design. But it's still notable that the company didn't manage to add more women to the top ranks.

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Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow38 mins ago - World

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

GOP congressman accuses California pension official of working for China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The latest season of Red Scare has come to Sacramento.

Driving the news: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has repeatedly accused Ben Meng, chief investment officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), of tacitly working on behalf of the Chinese government. Banks also says that, were it up to him, Meng would be fired — and has questioned the patriotism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom for not at least investigating Meng.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World