Facebook Inc.'s Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos is leaving the company after internal disagreements over how the company should handle its role in spreading disinformation, The New York Times reported, citing current and former employees briefed on the matter.
Stamos, who internally was said to be a strong advocate of investigating and exposing Russian activity on the U.S. social media network, had his daily responsibilities reportedly reassigned to others in December 2017, prompting the resignation. He was persuaded to assist until August in the transition of his duties, because executives thought that his departure would look bad, according to the report, citing sources.
Stamos is currently overseeing the transfer of his security team to Facebook's product and infrastructure divisions, with sources saying that his group of 120 people has shrunk to a staff of three.
Without confirming reports of his impending departure, Stamos said in a March 19 tweet, "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."
The development comes after Facebook suspended the accounts of British company Strategic Communication Laboratories and its political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica LLC, as well as Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, for violating the platform's personal data policies. Shortly after the news broke, Facebook saw its shares tumble March 19 as a growing chorus of U.S. and EU officials called for investigations into the mishandling of personal user data.