Facebook's head of policy and comms is stepping down
After Facebook's long list of recent controversies
Posted on June 14, 2018 11:34 PM.
Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications and public policy at Facebook, is stepping down after more than 10 years following a series of scandals that led the media and lawmakers around the world to openly question CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives.
RecodeKara Swisher and Kurt Wagner
Schrage has been a key player in coordinating Facebook’s response to the company‘s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, which has included lots of apologizing by Zuckerberg and a promise from the company to “take a broader view of our responsibility.” When Zuckerberg testified before Congress in April, Schrage was sitting in the hearing room. Schrage’s departure is notable not only because he’s influential inside Facebook but because top executives hardly ever leave the company.
Facebook has bungled the response to many a public scandal under Schrage’s watch, but the company insists that his exit was being discussed before some of its biggest controversies came to light.
Earlier this week, Schrage reportedly apologized for comments made in response to questions from Arjuna Capital Managing Partner Natasha Lamb during an investor meeting. Lamb inquired about Facebook’s plans to correct its gender pay gap among other uncomfortable lines of questioning for the company. Schrage reportedly told Lamb that the company would not answer her questions because she was “not nice.” It’s not clear if that event influenced the timing of Schrage’s departure.
After more than a decade at Facebook, I’ve decided it’s time to start a new chapter in my life. Leading policy and communications for hyper growth technology companies is a joy — but it’s also intense and leaves little room for much else. Mark, Sheryl and I have been discussing this for a while. I’ll lead the search to identify someone new to oversee our communications and policy teams. We expect to find someone with the same passion, integrity, determination and energy that our teams bring to Facebook every day. Mark and Sheryl have asked me to stay to manage the transition and then to stay on as an advisor to help on particular projects – and I’m happy to help.
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