Facebook’s top product person has displaced the top sales person in the company’s ranking of its highest paid executives.
Chris Cox, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, made his debut appearance on the company’s proxy statement today, with a total 2014 compensation package worth $US12.47 million.
He took the spot of Facebook’s VP of Business and Marketing Partnerships David Fischer, who was among the five highest paid executives for the past couple of years and who took home $US8 million in total compensation in 2013.
While both executives are clearly doing well, the change is interesting because it underscores the evolving balance and the natural tension between generating cash and building products that has long defined Facebook.
In the run up to and following its 2012 IPO, Facebook was under tremendous pressure to prove to Wall Street that it could turn its popular social networking service into a real business. Facebook’s stock was battered in the months after its IPO, as many investors thought the company had missed the boat on mobile advertising.
Those doubts are gone now. Facebook generated $US3.54 billion in revenue in the first three months of the year, with more than two thirds of the revenue coming from mobile advertising.
With Facebook’s ad business on firm footing, the company now seems to be shifting its focus to building new products that won’t necessarily be near-term money-makers. Facebook has already pronounced 2015 to be a year of investment, as it spends money on everything from its mobile messaging services to its artificial intelligence efforts.
Seen in that light, it’s not entirely surprising to see Cox — one of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s longtime lieutenants — ascend to the top tier of the company’s compensation table.
It’s worth noting that Cox got a promotion last year, making him the Chief Product Officer. It’s possible that Cox’s compensation in previous years was just as rich but that he wasn’t included in the proxy statement because he wasn’t officially a “named executive officer.” Even so, the changing of the guard on the proxy offers an interesting window into the company.
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