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As part of a massive reorganization of its executive team, Facebook is assembling a team that will explore applications of blockchain technology. That team will be lead by David Marcus, formerly the head of Facebook Messenger. The news was first reported by Recode, who said the news was announced internally to employees today.
Interestingly, Zuckerberg pledged earlier this year as part of his annual personal challenge to study the ways encryption, cryptocurrency, and other emerging technologies could “take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands.”
Marcus is currently on Coinbase’s board of directors. He confirmed the reorg news via Tweet after Recode published its story. According to Recode, the team will include fewer than a dozen people, for now.
The blockchain team will live under a division called “new platforms and infra,” one of three new divisions that are being created as part of this reorganization, according to Recode. The new platforms and infra division will be managed by current Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer, and it will also house the company’s efforts in AR, VR, and artificial intelligence.
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Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox, who was previously in charge of the standalone Facebook app, will also oversee the second new division, called “the family of apps.” In addition to the Facebook app, Cox will now oversee WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger. The third new division, called Central Product Services, will be overseen by Javier Olivan, currently the company’s VP of growth. The Central Product Services will encompass ads, security, and growth teams — basically “all of the shared features that operate across multiple products or apps,” according to Recode.
There are a handful of other executive shuffles detailed in the Recode report, including the news that Chris Daniels, the VP of Facebook’s Internet.org group, is taking over WhatsApp. That follows the news last week that cofounder Jan Koum is leaving the company. The company also announced today that Jeff Zients, the CEO of Cranemere, a holding company for businesses in the U.S. and Europe, has been appointed to Facebook’s board of directors.
VentureBeat has reached out to Facebook for comment on the report, and we will update this story if we hear back.
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