Following Facebook’s suspension of Cambridge Analytica, the analytics firm charged with exploiting Facebook user data, the social platform’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, is said to be leaving.
According to the New York Times, Stamos said he will be leaving by August of this year and had been clashing with executives since 2016 “over how to handle Russian interference on Facebook and how best to reorganize Facebook’s security team before the midterm elections.”
An initial report by the New York Times reported, “He has been overseeing the transfer of his security team to Facebook’s product and infrastructure divisions. His group, which once had 120 people, now has three.”
Monday night, Stamos responded to the news of his leaving on Twitter, stating that he is still fully engaged with his work at Facebook.
Despite the rumors, I’m still fully engaged with my work at Facebook. It’s true that my role did change. I’m currently spending more time exploring emerging security risks and working on election security.
— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) March 19, 2018
The media reports claim Stamos had advocated for Facebook to be more transparent about Russian interference on the site during the elections but was met with resistance. Current and former Facebook employees who were not identified told The New York Times that Stamos’s day-to-day responsibilities had been reassigned to others in December.
So far, Stamos is the only top-level executive reportedly leaving the company in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica developments.
Since announcing it was suspending Cambridge Analytica, Facebook’s handling of user data has dominated national headlines. Facebook announced Monday it has hired Stroz Friedberg, a digital forensics firm, to conduct an audit of Cambridge Analytica and has been given complete access to the analytic firm’s servers and systems.
Facebook’s top executives have remained silent since the company announced the suspension of Cambridge Analytica. Axios reports this morning that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to speak within “the next 24 hours”.