Facebook Defections Are Piling Up: Head of AI Jumps Ship

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 29: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies via video conference during an Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee hearing on "Online platforms and market power. Examining the dominance of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple" on Capitol Hill on July 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Graeme …
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Just one day after Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced her plans to leave the company, the Silicon Valley giant’s VP of AI revealed he will be departing later this month.

The Verge reports that one day after revealing that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will be departing the company, the firm is losing its VP of AI, Jerome Pesenti. Pesenti has served as the company’s VP of AI for four years and plans to leave later this month as Facebook integrates his AI teams into multiple product groups rather than having AI as a centralized organization.

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The change aims to “leverage the newest AI technology at scale” across the company, according to a post from Facebook (now Meta) CTO Andrew Bosworth. The company’s AI research team led by Yann LeCun, Facebook’s chief AI scientist, will be combined with Bosworth’s Reality Labs division.

The Reality Labs division has already grown to over 17,000 employees as the company bets on the future of AI and augmented reality products. AI has become critical to the future of Facebook’s vision and will define the company’s online metaverse.

“More centralized approaches run into their limits when the last mile proves to be too far for downstream teams to close the gap,” wrote Bosworth. “With this new team structure, we are excited to push the boundaries of what AI can do and use it to create new features and products for billions of people.”

Facebook has been facing tough times, including a recent hiring freeze.

Breitbart News reported:

Due to “slower revenue growth than anticipated,” Facebook is implementing a company-wide hiring freeze and doesn’t intend to meet hiring goals set at the start of the year. According to the memo, the company’s problems are due to the Apple privacy changes, the war in Ukraine, and the “general macroeconomic environment.”

The company is reportedly no longer hiring for certain engineering roles and is implementing a pause on the hiring of recruiters and low-level data scientists. Many employees have begun to fear that layoffs are coming soon, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an internal all-hands meeting last week that job cuts are not being planned.

“I can’t sit here and make a permanent ongoing promise that as things shift that we won’t have to reconsider that,” Zuckerberg said. “But what I can tell you is that as of where we sit today, our expectation is not that we’re going to have to do that. And instead, basically what we’re doing is we’re dialing growth to the levels that we think are going to be manageable over time.”

Read more at the Verge here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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