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Bezos, Zuckerberg, Cook and Pichai prepare for their big day before Congress — here’s what to watch out for – CNBC

When the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet testify before Congress on Wednesday, it won’t be exactly what the House Antitrust Subcommittee members envisioned when they launched their probe last June. 

For one thing, it will be held over video conferencing software due to pandemic-related precautions, eliminating the optics of the four executives being sworn in before an elevated panel of lawmakers. And with 1.3 million documents already obtained from the companies, the testimony is unlikely to include any bombshells.

Regardless of how well-practiced the CEOs are when they take the witness stand, their testimonies will offer an important insight: how they are handling antitrust challenges from regulators with the authority to break them up.

The House Judiciary Committee’s probe into Big Tech is expected to end with a report and legislative proposals about how to update the antitrust laws to respond to new challenges posed by the digital marketplace. Those laws, if enacted, could have far-reaching and lasting effects on how federal and state regulators crack down on anti-competitive practices in the future.

But the more immediate threat to the four CEOs is a potential lawsuit from domestic and international regulators who have been probing the companies on the same issues the House panel is investigating. Those agencies have the authority to order the companies to alter their businesses or make onerous commitments.

Antitrust questions about the four companies are not uniform, and even an hours-long hearing will only scratch the surface. But the way it plays out will indicate how the companies are fighting antitrust arguments behind the scenes, what commitments they’re willing and unwilling to make under oath, and how likely bipartisan antitrust reform really is.

Big Tech on defense

Google has already faced fines from the European Commission’s competition authority over its shopping search tool and Android mobile operating system. In the U.S., it faces the most pressing threat of legal action against the four companies as the Department of Justice and state attorneys general move toward a lawsuit that could span issues ranging from its search product to digital advertising marketplace, according to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal. Questions about Google tend to center on whether it favors its own products or suppresses competing options through its dominance in search and digital advertising.

Facebook disclosed a new Federal Trade Commission probe into its business last year, just after the agency closed a privacy probe into the company with a $5 billion fine. Several state attorneys general have launched their own joint antitrust probe into the company. Facebook’s past acquisitions of nascent competitors like Instagram and WhatsApp are a particular sticking point. The company has more than 2 billion monthly users, making it the largest social media platform, and enforcement advocates have argued that those acquisitions could have become serious challengers if they’d been allowed to grow on their own.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify following a break during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will face his first congressional hearing, and he’s likely to get questions about Amazon’s marketplace, where thousands of independent sellers sell new and used products, sometimes competing against Amazon itself. The FTC has been asking third-party sellers about what it’s like selling on Amazon’s marketplace, according to Bloomberg. Some members of the Judiciary Committee were outraged at a Wall Street Journal investigation earlier this year that found Amazon had used data from some of those sellers to create its own products, and suggested that some of Amazon’s past statements to the panel “appear to be misleading, and possibly criminally false or perjurious.”

Apple’s antitrust woes recently gained broader attention after a public spat with the leaders of a software company called Basecamp. The Basecamp executives aired their challenges in gaining approval for their new email service on Apple’s App Store, the only official place for users to download new apps on iPhones and iPads. While Apple ultimately approved the app and created a new way to challenge its App Store rules, the incident shed light on the potential antitrust issues the EU is now looking into, such as Apple’s opaque process for the app marketplace and its 30% commission fee on digital purchases consumers make through apps.

Some of the tech companies have already tipped their hand about how they will respond to claims monopolistic behavior. The arguments typically start by challenging the premise that they’re dominant players, slicing their markets and competitors to downplay the power they hold across all their spheres of influence. 

Apple last week released a study it commissioned that found its App Store fees and practices were generally in line with other digital marketplaces, rejecting the claim that its 30% commission on digital sales was out of step with industry trends.

NetChoice, a trade group that counts Amazon, Facebook and Google among its members, published a report called “Debunking the ‘Big is Bad’ Bogeyman: How Facebook Benefits Consumers.” The report aims to pick apart a recent paper outlining an antitrust argument against Facebook by arguing that it does not monopolize the social media market and faces robust competition from companies like TikTok.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony will reportedly touch on the rise of TikTok, according to Bloomberg, as he paints Facebook as a patriotic counterbalance to upstart Chinese tech companies that lawmakers believe could pose a threat to U.S. security. Separate from the antitrust probe, lawmakers have expressed concern about TikTok and other Chinese-created apps, fearing they could collect valuable data on U.S. users that Chinese officials could force companies to hand over.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has previously pointed to the rise of Chinese tech companies when defending her company’s position, arguing that even if Facebook is broken up, Chinese companies won’t be.

But that argument may not sit well with lawmakers. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., a member of the Antitrust Subcommittee whose amendment to a defense bill banning TikTok from government-issued devices recently passed in the House, said the threat of Chinese tech firms is separate from that of Big Tech’s dominance.

A man holding a phone walks past a sign of Chinese company ByteDance’s app TikTok, known locally as Douyin, at the International Artificial Products Expo in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China October 18, 2019.

Reuters

“I’m very concerned about China and their influence, but I think that’s a whole different story,” Buck said in an interview Monday with CNBC. “If we allow our tech companies to become so big that they stifle innovation in this country we will never be able to compete with China because that’s really what separates us from China is our ability to innovate and move forward.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., also dismissed the defense, saying in an interview it was not “legitimate.”

“Of course those things all get taken into account but that has nothing to do with monopolistic power and behavior via the antitrust laws that govern the way we do work and govern business regulation in this country,” she told CNBC. “It’s not a compelling factor, and the reality is that these companies have been engaged in this behavior for quite some time, and none of the data that we have seen in our investigation points to this being because China is coming in and trying to take business away. It’s not borne out by any of the documents.”

Spokespeople from Amazon and Google did not provide comment for this article. Representatives from Apple and Facebook did not respond to requests for comment.

Commitments under oath

The most tangible thing that could come from the panel are new commitments from the four CEOs. 

“Are they going to get any surprising new information? I highly doubt it,” a senior staffer for a Democratic member of the subcommittee said. “Now with that said, I do think there is a possibility that they get new commitments. There’s a difference between new information and new commitments.” The staffer spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing a lack of authority to comment publicly.

Some of those commitments may deal directly with the antitrust issues at hand: Will you commit to never ripping off a product or app sold on your marketplace? Will you commit to never purchasing a company you perceive to be a future threat to your business?

Others could run the gamut of other political issues: Will you commit to never taking down a post by a sitting president? Will you commit to fact-checking ads by all customers, including sitting presidents? Will you commit to never selling user data to third-party providers without their clear and explicit permission?

One line of questioning to watch for is a grilling of Bezos over Amazon’s use of data from third-party sellers. Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline, D-R.I., said Amazon’s witness at an earlier antitrust hearing “may have lied to Congress” about how the company uses data from its third-party sellers to come up with its private-label products following the WSJ report earlier this year. During a hearing in July 2019, Amazon general counsel Nate Sutton said Amazon does not use individual sellers’ data to inform its strategy, though it uses aggregated data to get a sense of how a product category is performing. 

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos addresses the audience during a keynote session at the Amazon Re:MARS conference on robotics and artificial intelligence at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas on June 6, 2019.

Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images

But the Journal’s report found that aggregate reports could contain as few as two sellers or easily expose individual performance metrics by other means. An Amazon spokesperson previously told CNBC it doesn’t allow employees to use “non-public, seller-specific data to determine which private label products to launch” and said it had opened an internal investigation, though it didn’t believe the allegations are true.

Jayapal is likely to take the opportunity to pin down Bezos on his stance on third-party seller data. She questioned Amazon’s general counsel about the data at the previous hearing, and her district includes Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle.

“That is important for me to follow up on because obviously I am extremely disturbed by the fact that their general counsel appears to have lied to me based on reports from papers like The Wall Street Journal,” she said. “So it won’t be a satisfactory answer to say that that was rogue behavior because we have constant data from multiple sources, multiple reports that Amazon does engage in accessing information that hurts third-party sellers and using that to benefit their own products and their own business lines, so I think I will certainly be following up on that.”

She said no decision has been made about whether an unsatisfactory answer could result in a perjury referral, but said once she hears what Bezos has to say, “everything’s on the table.”

Bipartisan appetite for change?

The hearing will also show whether there’s really a bipartisan appetite in Congress to change the antitrust laws.

When the investigation was launched last year, it had buy-in from top Democrats and Republicans on both the Judiciary Committee and Antitrust Subcommittee. But Judiciary Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., stepped down from the position during the probe as he pursues a Senate bid, handing the reins to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Jordan has signaled discontent with aspects of the investigation and hearing format in public letters to Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

Before he left the role, Collins and Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., wrote to Nadler, condemning remarks he delivered at a fundraising event about breaking up big companies. Nadler was not specifically calling to break up tech companies but rather talking about broad changes needed to dismantle concentrated market power, Politico reported at the time.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, asks questions of witnesses U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent during the first public hearings held by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 13, 2019.

Saul Loeb | Pool via REUTERS

But Jordan has appeared as the sole signatory on several other letters questioning Democratic leadership’s decisions about the hearing itself. He has advocated for it to be held at the full committee level and asked for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to be invited to the hearing, despite not being a subject of the initial investigation. Jordan did not sign the bipartisan letter asking Bezos to testify following the WSJ report.

Questions from Republican lawmakers on the subcommittee could show how committed they remain to the initial goals of the investigation and whether they still have an appetite to amend the antitrust laws.

Buck said both Republicans and Democrats remain concerned that the large platforms could “stifle innovation.”

“This is the most bipartisan effort that I have been involved with in five and a half years of Congress and I’m really pleased with Chairman Cicilline’s leadership and willingness to share resources and be very open in the approach to these issues,” he said. “The only way really to get a well thought-through law as well as a law that will pass the House and Senate and be signed by the president is to work in a bipartisan fashion and I think Chairman Cicilline has great vision in how he has approached this issue.”

Still, several conservative members have signaled a focus on the alleged bias they believe platforms like Facebook and Google’s YouTube display in their algorithms and moderation of users’ content. Democrats have largely dismissed those concerns, and the companies have denied they build their products and policies in ways that discriminate against conservative voices.

Republican Buck said he expects issues of bias and privacy to come up mainly as they relate to anti-competitive behavior. He plans to focus his questions on behavior he believes should be regulated.

“I think that it’s clear that the [antitrust] law was written at a time when Big Tech didn’t exist and I think that there are new challenges now that we have to update the law to make sure that regulators have the tools and resources that they need to assure competitive behavior in the marketplace,” he said.

No matter how lawmakers reach their conclusions, the question to watch is whether members on both sides of the aisle see these companies as too powerful, and if updates to the antitrust laws could reset the balance.

WATCH: How US antitrust law works, and what it means for Big Tech

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Zuckerberg, Bezos, Cook and Pichai antitrust hearing rescheduled for Wednesday – CNET

gettyimages-1177753363

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before a Congressional House Financial Services Committee in 2019. 


NurPhoto/Getty

Wednesday should be a historic day. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai — the CEOs of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google-owned Alphabet — are scheduled to sit before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust. The hearing, which was initially scheduled for Monday, has been rescheduled for noon Eastern, as Axios first reported on Saturday morning

A scheduling conflict was to blame for the delay. The late John Lewis, a Democratic representative and civil rights leader who died last week of pancreatic cancer, will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, it was announced on Thursday.

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Months in the making, the antitrust hearing aims to have four of the most powerful CEOs in tech defend accusations of monopolistic behaviors. All four tech giants have faced scrutiny over the past year from lawmakers and regulators, who not too long ago looked at Silicon Valley in a far more positive light. Now officials are raising concerns about these companies’ growing dominance in the market, which could be squashing competition. 

“Since last June, the subcommittee has been investigating the dominance of a small number of digital platforms and the adequacy of existing antitrust laws and enforcement,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline said in a joint statement. “Given the central role these corporations play in the lives of the American people, it is critical that their CEOs are forthcoming. As we have said from the start, their testimony is essential for us to complete this investigation.”

During a committee hearing in January, smaller tech firms complained about unfair business practices from the tech giants. Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told lawmakers that Google tried to restrict his company’s innovations and wanted insights into Sonos’ future product plans. Sonos sued Google, claiming the company stole its wireless speaker technology. David Barnett, CEO of PopSockets, blasted Amazon for ignoring issues about counterfeit that he’d raised for months, bullying him to lower his prices.

“There’s such a dominant power that exists with these companies that really even as a company of our size you feel like you have no choice,” Spence said.

The process of getting all four CEOs in front of the committee was not without drama. Cicilline in May threatened to subpoena Bezos to appear at the antitrust hearing after sending an open letter to Bezos calling for his testimony. Bezos agreed to appear in June.

The hearing will stream live here.

CNET’s Richard Nieva and Michelle Meyers contributed to this report.

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Zuckerberg Loses $7 Billion as Firms Boycott Facebook Ads – Bloomberg

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Zuckerberg stands firm in refusal to moderate Trump despite employee walkouts and resignations – CNBC

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday told employees that he was standing firm in the company’s decision not to moderate a post in which President Donald Trump said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Zuckerberg announced this to employees during a virtual all-hands meeting on Tuesday, according to The New York Times. The decision comes despite public criticism from dozens of employees, many of whom argue that the post from Trump violates Facebook’s community standards, which prohibit language that incites serious violence.

Brandon Dail, a Facebook user interface engineer, tweeted on Tuesday in criticism of Facebook’s leaders.

Zuckerberg’s decision not to moderate the post is in contrast to that of rival Twitter, which placed a label warning users about the president’s violent rhetoric, which they have to dismiss before they can view the tweet. Twitter is also preventing users from liking or retweeting the tweet.

Aside from criticism of the decision, at least two Facebook employees posted on social media that they were leaving the company as a result of the refusal to moderate Trump.

“I cannot stand by Facebook’s continued refusal to act on the president’s bigoted messages aimed at radicalizing the American public,” software engineer Timothy Aveni posted on LinkedIn.

Others in the tech industry also criticized the company for its inaction. Data scientist Ayodele Odubela on Tuesday tweeted a screenshot of her response to a Facebook recruiter, saying she refused to work for a company with policies that she fundamentally disagrees with.  

“Your CEO refuses to do anything about the hate speech and violence glorified by our ‘president’ on Facebook,” she wrote. 

Facebook has also been criticized by at least two of its partners.

After speaking with Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on Monday, Color of Change President Rashad Robinson tweeted that he was “disappointed and stunned by his incomprehensible explanations for allowing Trump’s incitement of violence against Black people to remain up.” Color of Change is a racial justice organization that has been working with Facebook on a civil rights audit of the social network.

“If regular citizens can get removed from social media sites for inciting violence … we have to have a standard for the most powerful person in the world whose harassments and attacks can lead to the deep levels of violence that we know,” Robinson told CNBC. 

Talkspace, a company that provides online therapy, on Monday announced that it was ending a partnership agreement with Facebook after the company’s decision not to moderate Trump’s post.

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Zuckerberg knocks Twitter for fact-checking Trump, says private companies shouldn’t be ‘the arbiter of truth’ – Fox News

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called out Twitter for attaching a fact check to a tweet from President Trump, telling Fox News’ Dana Perino that privately-owned digital platforms should not act as the “arbiter of truth.”

“We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this,” Zuckerberg told “The Daily Briefing” in an interview scheduled to air in full on Thursday.

TWITTER EXEC OVERSEEING FACT CHECK EFFORT HAS HISTORY OF ANTI-TRUMP TWEETS

“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” he added. “Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”

“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”

— Mark Zuckerberg, ‘The Daily Briefing’

Zuckerberg made the comment after President Trump warned social media giants that the federal government could “strongly regulate” or “close them down” if they continue to “silence conservative voices.”

TWITTER PUTS WARNING LABEL ON TRUMP TWEET

“I have to understand what they actually would intend to do,” Zuckerberg said in response to the president’s warning. “But in general, I think a government choosing to to censor a platform because they’re worried about censorship doesn’t exactly strike me as the the right reflex there.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded late Wednesday, saying: “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.

“This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth’,” Dorsey continued. “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.”

On Tuesday, Twitter slapped a fact check notification on one of Trump’s tweets for the first time, cautioning users that despite the president’s claims about mail-in voting, “fact checkers” say there is “no evidence” that mail-in voting would increase fraud risks and that “experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.

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Facebook has faced criticism in the past for failing to address controversial content on the platform, but it appears Zuckerberg has no plans to change company policy. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg expressed a similar sentiment during a 2017 CNBC interview, asserting that the tech giant does not intend “to be the publisher and we definitely don’t want to be the arbiter of the truth.”

“We don’t think that’s appropriate for us,” Sandberg said at the time.

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Mark Zuckerberg led Facebook to an all-time high this week — here’s who runs the company with him – CNBC

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., arrives for a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Facebook has gone through an extensive metamorphosis since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, to combat the misinformation and other abuse of its social networks, and to rekindle growth after a stall in 2018. 

The shift has spurred numerous changes to the company’s executive leadership. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reshuffled his deck of lieutenants while remaining one of the few constants at the helm of the company and taking a more active role in aspects of the company he’d previously left to other execs.

This is who leads Facebook in 2020. 

Mark Zuckerberg: Founder and CEO

Zuckerberg has been the key decision maker for Facebook since he founded the company as a student at Harvard in 2004. 

Throughout his career, Zuckerberg has made bold decisions, never afraid to go against the wishes of his users or his executives. That was the case in 2006 when the company rolled out the News Feed, which many users hated, and when Zuckerberg rejected a $1 billion acquisition offer from Yahoo, to the dismay of his deputies. 

Zuckerberg has also led the company through several notable acquisitions, starting with the $1 billion purchase of Instagram in 2012, and the $19 billion deal for WhatsApp and $2 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014.

More recently, Zuckerberg has directed Facebook through numerous scandals, including the battle against misinformation and foreign manipulation of the platform following the 2016 U.S. election and the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal. Zuckerberg has reportedly told his top executives that the company is at war, and he has taken on a more aggressive approach to his leadership. In January, Zuckerberg told analysts that his “goal for this next decade isn’t to be liked, but to be understood” and a few days later he said that his new approach is “going to piss off a lot of people.”

This new style of leadership has been on clear display since February, as Facebook has taken a number of bold actions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook has been among the most progressive companies in terms of allowing employees to work from home, set up a $100 million grant program to support small businesses, and has released numerous new products geared to consumers who are stuck at home and going online more than ever. 

Zuckerberg has personally been involved with many of these decisions, and the results have been clear: The company’s stock price reached an all-time high this week.

Sheryl Sandberg: COO

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks at the DLD conference in Munich on January 20, 2019.

Facebook

Since the moment Sandberg joined Facebook in 2008, she has been Zuckerberg’s no. 2. Most notably, Sandberg has been in charge with running all the parts of the business Zuckerberg had little interest in, such as growing the company’s ad business and handling its communications.

Sandberg came to Facebook from Google, where she was vice president of global online sales and operations. Upon joining Facebook, Sandberg was tasked with growing Facebook’s revenue and advertising businesses in preparation for an inevitable IPO. Before her arrival, Facebook had generated a little more than $150 million in revenue in 2007. Sandberg helped grow that figure nearly 2,400% to $3.7 billion by 2011.

Over the past decade, Sandberg’s profile has had a meteoric rise alongside Facebook’s own growth. This was perhaps most emphasized in 2013 when her book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” was published. 

More recently, however, Sandberg has come under fire. Although employees still praise her work, her influence at the company has reportedly diminished following the numerous scandals the company has gone through in recent years. 

A report by the New York Times says Zuckerberg’s increased involvement in the company’s numerous dealings has been “an effective sidelining of” Sandberg. Another report from Variety said Sandberg is now a “flight risk.” (Sandberg swiftly .) 

Whether or not her influence has diminished, she remains a prominent face for the company.

Mike Schroepfer: Chief Technology Officer

Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer.

Press Association | AP

Zuckerberg vision for Facebook’s tech prowess knows few bounds, and his CTO Schroepfer is often the man tasked with bringing those ambitions to reality. 

“Schroep,” as everybody in the company calls him, is the top technical executive at the social network, and he’s often praised for his technical chops and being a thoughtful leader. One of his key roles is leading Facebook’s efforts in the development of artificial intelligence. That AI technology is key to how the company moderates content to prevent the spread of misinformation, harassment and other types of abuse on its services. 

Besides AI, Schroepfer is also the top guy when it comes to Facebook’s other big bets, including development related to the Libra digital currency, the company’s hardware devices and Facebook’s development of brain-computing technology. 

Adam Mosseri: Head of Instagram

Adam Mosseri, Facebook

Beck Diefenbach | Reuters

Instagram is indisputably the coolest part of Facebook, and Adam Mosseri is the head of that division. 

Mosseri started at Facebook as a product designer in 2008 and is known for his tight relationship with Zuckerberg. He has played many key roles: He previously ran the company’s News Feed — the core feature of Facebook’s flagship social network — then cofounded the integrity team that combats misinformation.

Zuckerberg handed the Instagram keys to Mosseri in October 2018, after the original co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger suddenly quit the previous month. Since then, Mosseri has become one of the most public-facing executives at Facebook. He often appears on podcasts, responds to tweets and live streams from his Instagram account. 

Andrew Bosworth: Head of AR/VR

Andrew Bosworth AKA Boz, an advertising expert for Facebook, gives a talk at the Online Marketing Rockstars marketing trade show in Hamburg, Germany, 03 March 2017. Photo: Christian Charisius/dpa | usage worldwide (Photo by Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Christian Charisius | picture alliance | Getty Images

Bosworth and Zuckerberg go back to their days at Harvard, and since joining Facebook in 2006, Bosworth has gained a reputation for being a guy who gets things done. Bosworth led the company’s development of software for Facebook’s ad business, which generates more than 98% of its revenue

As Facebook got serious about diversifying its revenue stream through hardware development, Zuckerberg turned to his trusted deputy and made him the head of hardware in August 2017.  He now leads the development of Facebook’s efforts with the Oculus virtual reality unit, the Portal video-calling smart-home devices and some experimental long-term projects, including its development of brain-computing technology.

He’s also known for his blunt insights into the company’s business, which he posts on his blog and internal message boards — sometimes causing trouble, such as a leaked 2016 memo that appeared to praise the company’s “growth at all costs” mentality (Bosworth later said the post was meant sarcastically).

Although many have feared the wrath of Boz, few can argue with his results. 

Fidji Simo: Head of Facebook

Fidji Simo, Director of Product at Facebook

Frederick M. Brown | Getty Images

Everyone knows Sandberg, the top woman at Facebook, but few know the second-most-powerful woman at the copmany. It’s Fidji Simo, who runs the core Facebook product, which is known internally as the “blue app.” 

After joining in 2011, Simo quickly rose the ranks at the company through her skills as a product manager. She’s known for her distinctive European style and for having Zuckerberg’s ear. That’s key considering she now holds the same job Zuckerberg had when he first invented Facebook. 

Javier Olivan: Vice President of Growth

In April, Facebook announced that it now has nearly 3 billion monthly users across the company’s family of apps. That type of growth is unprecedented for any product in human history, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Javier Olivan. 

Olivan keeps a low public profile, but within the company, his contributions are stuff of legend. As the VP of Growth, Olivan has one of the most difficult jobs at Facebook: he’s responsible for ensuring Facebook shows impressive user growth to investors quarter after quarter. A stumble can have devastating effects on the company’s stock price.

“Javi,” as he is known, has been described as the jewel in Facebook’s crown. Numerous companies have tried to poach him, including rival Snap, but Zuckerberg has never let him go. Zuckerberg counts on Olivan to make sure Facebook keeps attracting new users, and gives Olivan the freedom to experiment and the resources he wants to make it happen. 

David Fischer: Chief Revenue Officer

Facebook makes money by running targeted ads, and the executive in charge of that global business is David Fischer. 

Fischer came to Facebook from Google, following the path blazed by Sandberg. Since then, he has built the company’s ad business while staying out of the limelight. Fischer is known for avoiding the spotlight — he allows others to bask in the glory while focusing on results. 

Dave Wehner: Chief Financial Officer

David Wehner, CFO at Facebook.

Harriet Taylor | CNBC

Dave Wehner is among the less influential c-suite executives at Facebook, but that doesn’t change the significance of his role. While others innovate and build, Wehner lays in the background as a passive CFO. 

Wehner’s main job is ensuring that teams stay within budget. Facebook rarely has a shortfall, but Wehner makes sure the wheels keep turning financially.

Where Wehner truly shines is every three months when it’s time for Facebook to release its quarterly earnings. Alongside Zuckerberg and Sandberg, Wehner is the only other executive who speaks on the quarterly report, explaining to Wall Street why Facebook is doing what it’s doing. 

David Marcus: Head of Calibra

David Marcus, Head of Calibra at Facebook, testifies about Facebook’s proposed digital currency called Libra, during a Senate Banking, House and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, July 16, 2019.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

David Marcus is one of the most notable hires in the history of Facebook. The company nabbed him to run the company’s Messenger division after his tenure as president of PayPal. Marcus ran Messenger until 2018 when he left the division to run a mysterious new blockchain project at Facebook. 

That project turned out to be the Libra digital currency and Facebook’s Calibra digital wallet. 

The vision was to build a digital currency that Facebook users could send to one another virtually and across international borders. Facebook announced the project nearly one year ago, but after facing severe pushback from regulators and lawmakers worldwide, Libra and Calibra have yet to see the light of day. 

As head of Calibra, Marcus has had to go to congressional hearings and face rigorous questions from lawmakers skeptical of trusting Facebook with their money. At the time of Libra and Calibra’s unveiling, Marcus promised a 2020 launch. So far, that hasn’t happened. 

Stan Chudnovsky: Head of Messenger

Stan Chudnovsky of Facebook

Horacio Villalobos | Corbis | Getty Images

In March 2019, Zuckerberg wrote a 3,000-word memo foretelling that Messenger and WhatsApp would become the main ways people communicate on Facebook. He also outlined his desire for interoperability between those apps and Instagram. 

Stan Chudnovsky leads a major part of that project as head of Messenger. He’s a product guy with a reputation as a growth hacker. His strength is in getting users to adopt products.

Will Cathcart: Head of WhatsApp

Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp, leads the other half of that project.

Cathcart joined in 2010 and was among the first 50 product managers at the company, a key group at Facebook. When new employees Facebook, Cathcart is shown as a role model for starting there young and working his way up. Cathcart cut his teeth working on the core blue app, and he was elevated to the head of WhatsApp after Chris Daniels left the company in March 2019. 

Nick Clegg: Vice President of Global Affairs & Communications

CEO and co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg poses next to Facebook head of global policy communications and former UK deputy prime minister Nick Clegg (L) prior to a meeting with French President at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 10, 2019.

Yoah Valat | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook hired Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister of the U.K., in October 2018 after facing numerous scandals, most notably Cambridge Analytica, where it was revealed that a political research firm had improperly acquired information about Facebook users and then used it to target political ads, including ads favoring Donald Trump for the presidency.

Clegg’s arrival came as talk of antitrust investigations and privacy violations by Facebook began to reach a fever pitch. Europe tends to be more proactive than the U.S. when it comes to this type of regulatory action against tech companies, and Clegg is well-versed in European politics and bureaucracy, putting the company in better position to deal with any legal actions that may come its way. 

Joel Kaplan: VP of Global Policy

Facebook vice president of global public policy Joel Kaplan and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leave the Elysee Presidential Palace after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on May 23, 2018 in Paris, France.

Chesnot | Getty Images

When it comes to dealing with Washington, Joel Kaplan is Facebook’s point person. An alum of George W. Bush’s presidential administration, Kaplan is well connected in the nation’s capital, and his Republican ties have also been an asset for the company during the Trump presidency. 

However, Kaplan has also drawn some controversy — most notably, some Facebook employees were outraged when he attended a Supreme Court nomination hearing for his friend Brett Kavanaugh, who faced accusations of sexual assault. (Kavanaugh has denied these accusations. He was confirmed and now sits on the court.)

Despite that incident, Kaplan remains an influential person at Facebook, and was reportedly instrumental in setting up a meeting between Zuckerberg and Trump last fall. His tight relationships with Sandberg, whom he dated at Harvard, and Zuckerberg ensure a right-wing perspective is always represented at the social network.

Ime Archibong: Head of New Product Experimentation   

Ime Archibong, director of product partnerships at Facebook, speaks on stage during the Facebook F8 conference in San Francisco, April 12, 2016.

Stephen Lam | Reuters

Ime Archibong is the highest-ranking person of color within Facebook. Archibong has been with the company since 2010, and he has a close relationship with Zuckerberg, with whom he used to go on runs for exercise. 

Archibong previously led the company’s connectivity efforts to get more people around the world online, but in August, Archibong became the head of Facebook’s New Product Experimentation division, according to his LinkedIn profile. NPE is a brand new unit within Facebook, and it’s responsibility is to build new consumer apps. If Archibong can score a hit or two, NPE will have been a success. 

Marne Levine: Vice President of Partnerships

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, and Marne Levine, VP of Global Partnership, Business Development and Corporate Development, arrive for the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 9, 2019 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

As VP of Partnerships, Marne Levine’s job is to handle Facebook’s relationships with its numerous partners, no matter how diplomatic or strained they may be. Levine has been at the company since 2010, and she is one of Sandberg’s most trusted allies. Prior to her current role, Levine served as the chief operating officer of Instagram. 

Naomi Gleit: VP of Social Good

Facebook’s VP of Social Good Naomi Gleit during Facebook’s 2016 Social Good Forum.

Kevin Mazur | Getty Images

Besides Zuckerberg, Gleit is among the longest-tenured employees at Facebook — her LinkedIn profile says she joined in 2005. She is in charge of the company’s Social Good division, which is responsible for building features like the tool that lets users mark themselves as safe during a disaster or the features that allow people to hold fundraisers for charities of their choice on their birthdays. Gleit is known as one of the moral compasses at the company.

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