Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, a key figure in the network’s campaign against the spread of fake news and misinformation, has announced to quit the social media giant. He will now join Stanford University as a full-time teacher and researcher.
“Starting in September, I will join Stanford University full-time as a teacher and researcher. I have had the pleasure of lecturing at Stanford for several years, and now I will have the honour of guiding new generations of students as an Adjunct Professor at the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies,” Stamos said in a Facebook post.
August 17 will be his last day at Facebook. Alex Stamos joined Facebook in 2015.
“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,” Stamos wrote about the company he is leaving.
The announcement comes only a day after Facebook investigation, under Stamos, revealed that it discovered and eliminated 32 accounts for “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” ahead of the mid-term US congressional elections in November.
“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,” he posted in his parting message.
As a Cyber Initiative Fellow, a William J. Perry Fellow in International Security and a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution, Alex Stamos said, he would continue his work towards preventing the misuse of technology. “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 FSI. I am also looking forward to other opportunities to contribute to Stanford’s focus on ethically designing and implementing new technologies,” he said about his future plans.
At Facebook, Stamos had been strongly advocating investigation and disclosure of Russian activity on the social media platform.
Commenting on his post, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged her outgoing colleague’s contributions to the company.
“Alex, so grateful for all the contributions you’ve made to Facebook. You’ve played such an important role in how we approach new security challenges and helped us build relationships with partners so we can better address the threats we face. Your work has made us better. Wishing you all the best in your next chapter,” she posted.
Facebook founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg too took to the comment section and posted a “thank you”.
“Thank you for leading our security efforts over the past three years. This has been an incredibly challenging time to run a security team, and the changes you’ve made will help us do even more to protect the people who use our services. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do next at Stanford,” he said.
The Verge reported that Alex Stamos won’t be replaced by anyone at Facebook, “meaning no one will hold the title of ‘Chief Security Officer’ at Facebook”.