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Facebook's board of directors is expanding the charter of the its audit committee, chaired by former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, to cover risk oversight responsibilities like data privacy, community safety and cybersecurity.

Bottom line: The move is largely cosmetic, as Facebook's audit committee already had such responsibilities, but is designed to reassure shareholders that the company takes its social responsibility seriously.

"Facebook has grown significantly since going public, and so has the role of the audit committee, especially its role managing risk oversight. To reflect this, the Board updated the committee's charter to clarify how the committee's role has grown, as well as to address other evolving issues, particularly in the areas of privacy and data use, community safety and security, and cybersecurity.”
— Erskine Bowles

The board's audit committee will be renamed its audit and risk oversight committee. Members include Bowles, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, former American Express CEO Ken Chenault and former Obama economic advisor Jeff Zients.

  • Other Facebook directors include CEO Mark Zuckerberg, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, venture capitalist Peter Thiel, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellman.

Most public companies require their boards to have audit committees to oversee financial reporting, disclosure and risk.

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