Facebook’s Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos, has left the company as it faces intensifying scrutiny for the platform’s user data practices.
Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer since 2015, has left the company to take a position at Stanford University, according to TechCrunch. Following severe scrutiny over user data practices and foreign actors allegedly utilizing Facebook’s platform for political purposes, a number of Facebook executives have left the company — Stamos is the latest to move on.
In a Facebook post, Stamos discussed his decision to leave the company saying:
For the last three years, I have been proud to work with some of the most skilled and dedicated security professionals in the world in one of the most difficult threat environments faced by any technology company. We have worked together to build new protections around user data, improve the security of products used by billions, roll out innovative encryption and privacy protections at unprecedented scale, and study and react to new classes of abuse by the world’s most advanced adversaries.
While I have greatly enjoyed this work, the time has come for me to move on from my position as Chief Security Officer at Facebook. Starting in September, I will join Stanford University full-time as a teacher and researcher.
Rumors have been circulating since March that Stamos may depart the social media firm. He is said to have to disagreed with how Facebook handled the disclosure and investigation into allegations of Russian intelligence using the platform to spread disinformation. Stamos said in March that, “despite the rumors, I’m still fully engaged with my work at Facebook,” but he did acknowledge that his role at the company had been shifted to focus on “emerging security risks and working on election security.”
“This fall, I am very excited to launch a course teaching hands-on offensive and defensive techniques and to contribute to the new cybersecurity master’s specialty at [the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies],” Stamos said.“ My last day at Facebook will be August 17th. and while I will no longer have the pleasure of working side by side with my friends there, I am encouraged that there are so many dedicated, thoughtful and skilled people continuing to tackle these challenges. It is critical that we as an industry live up to our collective responsibility to consider the impact of what we build, and I look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with the security and safety teams at Facebook.”
Facebook is about to lose a number of long-term employees, such as the company’s Chief Legal Officer Colin Stretch, who has worked at the company for more than eight years. Elliot Schrage, the company’s head of policy and comms left recently as did Jan Kourm the co-founder of Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp.