One of Mark Zuckerberg's top lieutenants says he quit over 'artistic differences' with the Facebook CEO

Chris Cox/FacebookChris Cox and Mark Zuckerberg.
  • The former Facebook executive Chris Cox told Yahoo that he left the company over “artistic differences” with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Cox left Facebook in March after 13 years at the company.
  • His departure came after Zuckerberg announced plans to merge the back end of Facebook’s various messaging apps as part of a pivot to privacy.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook’s former head of product Chris Cox told Yahoo Finance he left the company because of “artistic differences” with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Cox left Facebook in March after 13 years at the company. Speaking with Yahoo, Cox declined to give any more details about his departure out of respect for Zuckerberg.

“I respect and care about Mark so deeply that I would never really want to get into more detail than that,” he said as part of a lengthy profile on his life and work at Facebook.

Yahoo said the “artistic differences” quip was said “half jokingly” by Cox. Three sources familiar with his thinking told the website that he had clashed with Zuckerberg over plans to radically reshape Facebook in a pivot to privacy.

Read more:
A red flag in a Facebook exec’s goodbye letter shows there’s bad blood over Mark Zuckerberg’s radical privacy plan

Zuckerberg announced plans in March to knit together the back ends on Facebook’s various messaging products to create one, end-to-end encrypted service.

His exit was one many at Facebook in recent months, with other departures including Instagram’s founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.

Cox posted a public goodbye letter on his Facebook page in which he referred to the new privacy-oriented approach. “This will be a big project and we will need leaders who are excited to see the new direction through,” he wrote.

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