Two more top Facebook executives leave the company

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Cox, who dropped out of a Stanford University graduate degree program to work with Zuckerberg when the company had just 15 engineers, was widely seen as one of the most popular and capable executives at the social network - and a potential replacement CEO, were Zuckerberg to leave. Facebook's chief product officer, Chris Cox, and Chris Daniels, who heads the messaging app WhatsApp, are departing.

Two senior executives at Facebook left the company this week, with one of them emphasizing Facebook's need to find leaders who were "excited" about the new direction of the social media company, according to CNN Business. The leaders of each of Facebook's main products (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp) will now report directly to Zuckerberg.

Cox is among Facebook's highest-ranking executives and has been at the company for more than 13 years.

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He said the new head of the Facebook-owned application would be Fidji Simo, who was previously in charge of video, games and monetization at Facebook. In a note to employees about Cox's departure, Zuckerberg said Cox had been talking to him for a few years about doing something else but made a decision to stay after 2016 to help improve the social network.

Daniels took the helm of WhatsApp after founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton left the messaging app a year ago, reportedly over disagreements about the increased integration of WhatsApp's operations with Facebook's. Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, WhatApp's Brian Acton and Jan Koum and Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey have also departed. Cox didn't offer any explanation for his departure.

"As Mark has outlined, we are turning a new page in our product direction, focused on an encrypted, interoperable, messaging network".

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"It's a product vision attuned to the subject matter of today: a modern communications platform that balances expression, safety, security and privacy", Cox wrote in a Facebook post.

"At this point, we have made real progress on many issues and we have a clear plan for our apps, centered around making private messaging, stories and groups the foundation of the experience, including enabling encryption and interoperability across our services", Zuckerberg continued.

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