In what continues to be a horrible week for Facebook in India, the social networking giant’s longstanding India head, Kirthiga Reddy, has stepped down from her post. She will be moving back to the US after a long, six-year stint at that position.
Announcing her decision via a Facebook post, Reddy said:
I’m grateful to have two countries to call ‘home,’ have had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and look forward to the next one, and have the opportunity to partner with each of you.
In a response to Reddy’s resignation, Facebook said in a comment to Guardian:
Facebook said in a comment: “As she had planned for some time, Kirthiga Reddy is moving back to the US to work with the teams in headquarters. We are extremely proud of the work she has done to grow our global sales business in India.
During her time in India, Kirthiga was not involved in our Free Basic Services efforts.
Talking about her future plans, Kirthiga said:
What am I going to be doing? It will be business as-usual over the next 6-12 months. I am working closely with William Easton and Dan Neary as we search for my successor in India. I have also begun to explore new opportunities at Facebook back at Menlo Park.
As I do this, I continue to experience the same aha moments as I did in my first few weeks at Facebook — that our mission is so much bigger, the opportunities are so much larger, and each facebooker is so much more jaw-dropping-inspiring than one thinks possible.
This move comes after Facebook received a first-of-its kind public backlash globally for its Free Basics program. The initiative, which was a clear violation of the basic principles of net neutrality, recently received a ban from telecom regulator TRAI.
And to add on to that, board member Marc Andreessen posted some controversial comments relating to India and colonialism for which he ultimately had to issue a longform public apology. And such was the impact of the negative PR Facebook received, that Mark Zuckerberg himself felt the need to distance himself and the company from Andreessen’s comments.
The issue was further aggravated for a while when RCom — Facebook’s telecom partner for Free Basics in India, made the service paid. The social networking giant immediately responded, by completely pulling back Free Basics from India.
This story originally appeared on India-based tech publication The Tech Portal.