It was a year of change for Facebook.
The company was reborn as Meta, its first name change since Facebook dropped the prefix “the” from its name in 2005. With the new name, the company also announced it would shift its focus toward building the metaverse, an online world of virtual and augmented reality experiences.
Along with the new moniker and the strategic shifts came major changes in company leadership.
Numerous senior executives left in 2021 or announced plans to depart in the coming months. The exodus spanned the company, from its Novi cryptocurrency division to Facebook’s Workplace business software unit.
Here’s a list of Facebook’s most notable departures in 2021, ordered by when they were announced:
Deborah Liu, formerly head of Facebook Marketplace, left in February to become CEO of Ancestry.com.
David Fischer, who was chief revenue officer, announced his departure in March. Fischer had been head of the company’s advertising business and in charge of its worldwide sales organization. His exit came as Facebook geared up for privacy changes to Apple’s iOS that made it more difficult for the company to deliver personalized ads.
In June, Facebook announced that Marne Levine, vice president of global partnerships and a close friend of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, would succeed Fischer and take on the new role of chief business officer.
Weil was central to Facebook’s efforts to develop a cryptocurrency and a digital wallet. The wallet, called Novi, finally launched earlier this year, powered by technology from Coinbase. The currency, which is now run by an independent association and is called Diem, remains unreleased to the public.
Before joining Facebook’s cryptocurrency team, Weil was vice president of product at Instagram and played a crucial part in the development of the Stories product, which shows users full-screen photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
Hugo Barra, who was vice president of virtual reality, left Facebook in May. Barra had been a big hire for Facebook, having previously served as vice president at Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and before that as vice president of Android product management at Google.
Earlier this month, Barra announced that he had joined Covid-19 testing start-up Detect as CEO.
Carolyn Everson, served as the face of the company for major advertisers. She said in June that she’d be leaving her position as vice president of Facebook’s global business group. Everson announced her departure after Levine was promoted to succeed Fischer and given the new role of chief business officer. Everson had reported to Fischer, and the two worked hand in hand.
After her departure, Everson went to Instacart in August to serve as president of the grocery delivery service company. Her time with Instacart was brief — three months later she announced her departure.
Everson spent more than a decade with Facebook and was one of the company’s most well-known female executives, after Sandberg.
Fidji Simo, who was head of the Facebook app for the last two years, became CEO of Instacart after leaving Facebook in July. Simo spent a decade at the company, working her way up from product marketing to become one of Facebook’s most prominent female executives. She played a key role in initiatives to bring more video content to the Facebook app by way of autoplaying videos, livestreaming and the Facebook Watch video-streaming product.
Mike Verdu, who was Facebook’s vice president of augmented and virtual reality content, left in July to join Netflix as a vice president of game development. Verdu departed after just two years at the company, where he worked on content for Oculus VR headsets. He had previously been a senior vice president at Electronic Arts.
Mark D’Arcy, former chief creative officer, stepped down from his role in August after more than 10 years with the company.
Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s former head of civic integrity, left in September. Chakrabarti founded the company’s civic integrity product organization, which was responsible for ensuring its services were safe for civic engagement. That team played a crucial role in Facebook’s handling of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, but it was disbanded in December 2020, just before the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. capitol.
Since his departure, Chakrabarti has become one of the most outspoken former Facebook executives on Twitter, frequently commenting on topics related to the company.
Mike Schroepfer said in September that he would be leaving his job as chief technology officer in 2022. He’ll transition into a part-time role of senior fellow, helping Facebook recruit and develop technical talent and assisting with the company’s projects in artificial intelligence.
Schroepfer has been with Facebook since arriving as a vice president of engineering in August 2008. He’s been CTO since March 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He will be replaced as CTO by Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, who is currently the head of Facebook’s hardware division. The elevation of Bosworth is an indication of the growing role that hardware plays in Facebook’s future, especially as it focuses on building the metaverse.
Brandon Silverman, founder and former CEO of CrowdTangle, left in October. Silverman joined Facebook in 2016 through the acquisition of CrowdTangle, an analytics tool that can be used to track popular posts on Facebook’s services.
David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts, announced in November that he’ll be leaving at the end of the year.
Marcus joined the company in August 2014 after two year as president of PayPal. His initial role at Facebook was as vice president in charge of the company’s Messenger service. He then launched Facebook’s financial projects unit in May 2018.
Marcus spearheaded the creation of Facebook’s Libra blockchain currency and the Calibra digital wallet in June 2019. The goal was for both projects to go live in 2020. Neither saw the light of day in 2020 after Facebook faced stiff backlash against it cryptocurrency ambitions from lawmakers and regulators.
Julien Codorniou, who had been the head of Facebook’s Workplace business communications software, said in early December that he had joined venture firm Felix Capital.
Codorniou led Workplace since the launch of the service in 2016, joining Facebook five years earlier as a director on the platform partnerships team. In Codorniou’s time running Workplace, the product increased its reach to 7 million paid subscribers.
Stan Chudnovsky, the head of the company’s Messenger division, announced in December that he’ll be leaving in the second quarter of 2022. He joined Facebook in 2015 as head of product for the Messenger unit.
His announcement came a week after Marcus disclosed his plans to leave Facebook. They had been close colleagues at PayPal and then worked on Messenger. Chudnovsky took over Messenger from Marcus in May 2018.