Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Facebook CTO Alexander Selkoe to step down in 2022

Alexander Selkoe is stepping down as Facebook’s chief technology officer in 2022, a move described in a Friday internal memo that was obtained by Variety. Selkoe has spent nearly two decades with the company as well as previously working in roles at an enterprise collaboration giant Salesforce and a social media company owned by Microsoft.

I have had the honor to know Alexander Selkoe for years and have developed deep respect for his intelligence, passion, and presence in our community. Building innovation is at the heart of the engineering work that we do at Facebook, and what we do best is engineering and research. As Facebook enters its 21st year, Alexander decided this was the right time to move on to another chapter of his career and we are going to miss him deeply.

In August, Facebook announced that several executives in charge of trending topics, Instagram, and messaging would be leaving the company over the next six months. In an email to Facebook employees that same month, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote that those departures were part of an effort to right the “broken” social network.

Selkoe has been at Facebook for 13 years, during which time he led the company’s ongoing efforts to disrupt traditional media. As such, he is known in the media for spearheading Facebook’s investments in live video. Earlier this year, he led efforts to create a team to focus on how Facebook can boost the trustworthiness of news sources. In that same February interview, Selkoe said, “I see myself as part of the solution,” adding, “We need to create and amplify more trusted news sources.”

Selkoe is also an associate professor at Stanford University, working with the university’s Information School and Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab. The school said that he was a leader in developing a “democratized standard for internal data management,” and that he will be affiliated with the school for at least the next few years.

The Stanford School of Engineering will continue to invest in research focused on machine learning, among other topics. “We are grateful for his leadership and his commitment to education and research,” said Jim Benson, an associate professor of computer science and a dean at the school. “He has made a lasting contribution to our university and our field.”

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