Facebook has confirmed with me that it has undergone a corporate reorganization. “We can confirm that in order to streamline the product development process, we have reorganized our technical teams into product groups that report into Mark. These groups will be lead by Bret Taylor, Chris Cox, Greg Badros, Mike Schroepfer, and Sam Lessin.” Though Facebook didn’t formally name the divisions headed by these company leaders, their areas of focus are CTO Taylor – mobile, VP of Product Cox – general product, Badros – ads engineering, VP of Engineering Schroepfer – engineering, and Lessin – Timeline / profile.
Rumors of the reorganization were first published by AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes last night. The company has grown quickly over the last few years, making it difficult to keep those working on related products in sync. Refocusing around these areas should help Facebook make the product development process faster and less erratic. It will also make it easier for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to communicate his vision down to those building and supporting the different facets of the service.
Facebook recently installed two Chief Privacy Officers as part of its settlement with the FTC, Erin Egan for policy and Michael Richter for product. Their roles are to oversee Facebook product development to ensure that privacy is protected and that Facebook upholds the promises it made to the FTC. The new vertically integrated structure will facilitate this oversight and help prevent the building or launch of products that could jeopardize user privacy.
Facebook had 2000 employees a year ago and is aggressively hiring as it prepares to move into its new “1 Hacker Way” 3600 person capacity headquarters (with room to build more offices). While the company has prided itself on staying lean and remaining relatively flat, the reorganization represents necessary growing pains as the company matures. “Move Fast and Break Things” was a strategy that allowed it to iterate quickly and grow a huge lead in social networking. However, with more public scrutiny and an expected $100 billion IPO, the stakes are higher now.
By creating these 5 lieutenant positions that report to Zuckerberg, Facebook will be able to marry efficiency and purpose with innovation.