It was believed that 2018 would go down in history as the worst year in Facebook’s history with the Cambridge Analytica case, which severely damaged the American giant’s image. Stuck in a crisis of confidence in him since this scandal, the California group, which owns the most famous social network in the world (2.9 billion monthly active users), thought it had hit rock bottom. But since then, things haven’t improved for Mark Zuckerberg, which is accused of not doing enough to protect its users’ personal data and fight misinformation.
However, beyond the massive controversy that has plagued Facebook for three years, 2021 has been a turning point. Blame whistleblower Frances Hogan, a former Facebook computer scientist who specializes in algorithms. After closing the door to the US group last spring, the latter leaked thousands of internal Facebook documents to US stock market policemen, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and journalists around the world, leading to the scandal. They are called “Facebook Files”. Through the disclosed documents, Frances Hogan accuses Facebook of “Put profit before safetyof its users.
Amid the turmoil, the group has attempted to reinvent itself by betting on the metaverse, a completely hypothetical parallel world in which Mark Zuckerberg is placing much hope. Changing identity to become Meta, creating 10,000 jobs in Europe over the next five years… The Facebook chief has upped his maneuvers in recent months to get out of this negative spiral, but the damage has already been done, and both are only public internally. And so the US company suffered a hemorrhage among its top executives in 2021. From David Fisher, chief revenue officer, to Hugo Barra, head of the department dedicated to virtual reality, via Caroline Iverson, head of advertising, or even Stan Chudnovsky, who will leave the company in 2022 After leading the Messenger division, the heavyweights’ departure from the group has been linked in recent months. And in this wave of departures, we noticed three high-ranking French officials.
David Marcus, From Messenger to Novi
David Marcus, the former head of PayPal, joined Facebook in the summer of 2014 with an interest in launching the Messenger app. Having successfully completed this task, the Frenchman, who also holds dual American and Swiss citizenship, was commissioned in 2018 to launch a group division dedicated to financial services related to the blockchain. In this context, he is responsible for the trial of creating Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, linked to a digital wallet, Calibra, to create a global payment system.
But Facebook’s ambitions in this field quickly aroused the mistrust of regulators and many countries, which considered this an attack on the monetary sovereignty of states. Faced with this outcry, many players, who initially supported the project, decided to back off, such as Visa, Mastercard, Stripe or eBay. Since then, Facebook’s ambitions in cryptocurrency have been pared back and the project has taken a turn for the worse.
If Libra and Calibra were respectively renamed Diem and Novi to ease tensions, the crisis caused by Francis Hogan’s discoveries was undoubtedly too much for David Marcus, who preferred to return to the entrepreneurship bath. He was replaced as Vice President of Novi Products by Stephane Kasriel, who joined Facebook in August 2020. The latter will therefore be responsible for putting into orbit the American giant’s interoperability portfolio dedicated to Diem, which is now taking the form of a stablecoin project. With the passing of David Marcus, Mark Zuckerberg has lost one of his most loyal aides.
Fiji Simo, the new General Manager of Instacart
After ten years at Facebook, Fiji Simo left the Californian company through the front door. And for good reason, this summer the French lady took over the reins of Instacart, an American start-up that offers home shopping delivery. In particular, it will have the difficult task of carrying out the IPO of the American unicorn, worth $39 billion. The operation, which is highly anticipated on Wall Street, should take place in 2022.
This is a huge new challenge for Fiji Simo, who has steadily stepped up his contract with Menlo Park after establishing himself on eBay. “I wasn’t destined to end up in Silicon Valley. She was born and raised in Set in a family of fishermen. I was the first person in my family to pursue higher education. My parents always taught me that anything is possible; This is the belief that ultimately led me to where I am today.I explained to Digital in the beginning of the year.
On this occasion, she returned to her professional career in the ranks of the American band: “When I started at Facebook, I was working in marketing, but soon realized that I loved product development, so I became a product manager. Next, she led the team responsible for the mobile monetization strategy. Then, I was able to dive into the world of entertainment as it led our investments in video and gaming with products like Facebook Live and Watch. About two years ago, I was appointed Director of Facebook Applications, where I oversee the development and strategy of the application, from news feed to stories, groups and dating on Facebook. I’ve spent most of my career in Facebook, and my biggest motivation has been the ability to open people’s eyes to worlds they wouldn’t otherwise have imagined.“
Julian Codornio, creator of “Workplace”
Like Fiji Simo, Julian Codornio joined Facebook for ten years. He arrived in 2011 after just under six years at Microsoft to create a dedicated video game team in the EMEA region, from London, that rapidly evolved to build the global ecosystem of developers and US group partners (games, consumers…) to help them develop their mobile applications and generate income from it. But in 2016, his career at Facebook really took off, where he was responsible for overseeing development and then launching a solution called internally “Facebook at Work”.
This is the professional version of the social network, wisely renamed Workplace. Five years after its launch, it claims to have over 7 million paying subscribers, including 2 million won in just one year in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. In total, Workplace has more than 20 million daily active users. A number that pales in comparison to the 145 million daily users of Microsoft Teams, which has benefited greatly from Redmond’s firepower in collaborative tools with its Office 365 suite, but it’s not ridiculous compared to Slack, which registers more than 12 million daily users. However, Slack only claims over 169,000 paid subscribers, confirming Workplace’s strong performance in the paid segment.
Five years after putting Workplace into orbit, Julien Codorniou left Facebook and entered the investing world, joining Felix Capital. Headquartered in London, this venture capital firm is best known for its investments in Deliveroo, Dott, Frichti, Ledger, Mirakl and Sorare.