Facebook confirms new corporate structure, privacy may be to blame

Facebook‘s corporate structure is getting a facelift with five new product groups that will report directly to founder Mark Zuckerberg.

“We can confirm that in order to streamline the product development process, we have reorganized our technical teams into product groups that report into Mark,” Facebook told All Things D. “These groups will be lead by Bret Taylor, Chris Cox, Greg Badros, Mike Schroepfer and Sam Lessin.”

What each group will be responsible for is unknown. Bret Taylor acts as Facebook’s chief technology officer, who also oversees the news feed, search and the platform itself; Greg Bradros is the director of engineering; Mike Schroepfer is the vice president of engineering; Chris Cox is the vice president of product, watching over design; and Sam Lessin is the product manager for Facebook’s new Timeline feature.

The reorganization may be related to the recent settlement between the social network and the Federal Trade Commission. Last week, the two ended a two year long discussion on Facebook’s privacy policies and the ability to change privacy settling with explicit approval from the user first. The settlement included Facebook’s agreement to always get said approval and undergo third party privacy audits for 20 years.

Also included in that settlement, however, was an agreement to “establish and maintain a comprehensive privacy program” to touch all parts of the development and maintenance of “new and existing products and services.” In order to adhere to this, Zuckerberg announced the positions of co-chief privacy officers, one for policy and one for product. These roles were filled by Erin Egan and Michael Richter respectively.

The new groups undoubtedly will be involved with both Egan and Richter and may be set up to easily undergo any privacy inquiries or audits that may come its way.

We have reached out to Facebook and will update this post upon hearing back.


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