What you need to know
- Facebook has announced Andrew Bosworth as the company's new CTO.
- Bosworth will oversee Facebook's AR and VR efforts amid increased focus on the company's hardware efforts.
- The news comes amid increased scrutiny over Facebook's practices in how it handles information.
- Bosworth will transition into his new role next year.
Facebook is getting a new CTO, one it hopes can help usher the company into the metaverse.
On Wednesday, Facebook CTO, Mike Schroepfer, announced that he is stepping down following 13 years with the company and that his role would be filled by the vice president of Facebook Reality Labs, Andrew Bosworth (Boz).
Bosworth was responsible for creating Facebook Reality Labs and played a key role in the News Feed, Messages, and Groups. He will continue to oversee the company's AR and VR efforts as CEO Mark Zuckerberg focuses on building the metaverse and transitioning Facebook further into hardware.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has been hyping up the metaverse plenty as of late, also expressed his excitement for Bosworth's new position, saying that he's "excited about the future of this work under Boz's leadership."
Facebook Reality Labs was responsible for launching the company's latest hardware effort with the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses. There are also plans to launch an array of smart wearables that will work in tandem to help users simultaneously navigate the virtual and real world.
The executive shift comes amid increased scrutiny over Facebook's methods, including accusations of maintaining an illegal monopoly through its acquisitions of platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as the company's questionable practices around privacy and misinformation.
A recent New York Times exposé highlights questionable ways in which Facebook has tried to clean up its image, reportedly withholding research information and pushing pro-Facebook stories on its site.
Given the growing skepticism around Facebook's privacy practices, it's not clear how successful its hardware efforts will be, especially once the company launches devices like the rumored smartwatch that could be used to track user health and fitness data.
That said, the shift raised some eyebrows, including former Facebook product manager Samidh Chakrabarti, who expressed concern over how the company will operate going forward.
Context: After I left FB earlier this month, many existing employees asked me who could now best be their ally on matters of societal import. Who was on my short list every single time? Schrep. So this is indeed significant.Context: After I left FB earlier this month, many existing employees asked me who could now best be their ally on matters of societal import. Who was on my short list every single time? Schrep. So this is indeed significant.— Samidh (@samidh) September 22, 2021September 22, 2021
However, Schroepfer assures that he will be "staying closely connected to the company" as he transitions to a new part-time role as the company's first Senior Fellow.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.