Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer to step down after 13 years
Facebook Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mike Schroepfer announced Wednesday he will be stepping down from his role after 13 years with the social giant. Mike Schroepfer has been CTO at Facebook since March 2013. Prior to that, he was the Vice President of Engineering since July 2008.
He will be replaced by a longtime Facebook executive, Andrew Bosworth, who is currently the head of Facebook’s hardware division, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing an internal message on Wednesday from Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.
Schroepfer informed Facebook of his intention to resign as CTO on Monday, according to the company filing with the SEC.
“On September 20, 2021, Mike Schroepfer informed Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) of his intention to resign from his position as Chief Technology Officer of Facebook after a transition period. In 2022, Mr. Schroepfer will become a Senior Fellow at Facebook, in which role he will work on initiatives such as recruiting and developing technical talent and fostering the company’s artificial intelligence investments. The effective date of the transition and the compensation terms of such arrangement have not yet been determined,” Facebook said in SEC filing.
On his Facebook profile page, Schroepfer wrote: “This is a difficult decision because of how much I love Facebook and how excited I am about the future we are building together.” He also added that he would use his extra time for philanthropy and spending time with family. Bosworth, the new CTO, congratulated Schroepfer on his “epic 13-year run.”
During his 13 years at Facebook, Schroepfer has been known for his work on artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the blockchain. He gained enormous attention in the last four years amid Facebook’s attempt to address the proliferation of false, misleading, and inappropriate content on its social platforms.
Schroepfer’s move – which comes on a day Facebook shares tumbled after the company warned Apple’s privacy changes will have a bigger Q3 impact than it previously disclosed – marks the most significant departure from the company in years and follows the recent exits of several other top executives.
Schroepfer joined Facebook in 2008 and has been CTO since 2013, reporting directly to Zuckerberg. He sits atop many of Facebook’s most ambitious organizations — including groups that the social network is depending on for future growth – such as engineering, infrastructure, augmented reality and VR, and the blockchain and finance unit. His desk sits next to Zuckerberg’s and operating chief Sheryl Sandberg’s at Facebook headquarters.
Schroepfer’s most central role has been his oversight of Facebook’s AI organization, which he helped build. That group develops the technology Facebook uses to automatically find and remove content that violates its policies, like nudity, hate speech, and graphic violence.
According to Bloomberg, Schroepfer, 46, will continue to advise the company in a new part-time “senior fellow” role, helping with recruiting technical talent and developing the company’s artificial intelligence initiatives. “This new position will also create more space for me to dedicate time to my family and my personal philanthropic efforts while staying deeply connected to the company,” Schroepfer wrote in an internal post.
In a message to Facebook employees, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “Boz will continue leading Facebook Reality Labs and overseeing our work in augmented reality, virtual reality and more, and as part of this transition a few other groups will join Facebook Reality Labs over the next year as well.”
Schroepfer holds a bachelor’s degree (1997) and a master’s degree (1999) in computer science from Stanford University. Before joining Facebook, Schroepfer founded the software company CenterRun in June 2000, which was acquired by Sun Microsystems in November 2003. After the takeover, he became the Chief Technology Officer for Sun’s data center automation division (“N1”).
Schroepfer was the Vice President of engineering at Mozilla Corporation from July 2005 to August 2008, where he led the development of the Firefox web browser. Schroepfer has become one of the most visible Facebook executives during his 13 years at the company. He often speaks at events and at Facebook’s own annual developer conference. He represented the social network at a hearing before the U.K. Parliament to discuss the company’s Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal in 2018.