In a major reshuffle in its management, Facebook has named new leaders for several of its divisions. On Tuesday, the social media giant announced that Jeff Zients, the CEO of Cranemere, had been appointed to the company’s board of directors and audit committee, with effect from May 31, 2018, immediately following Facebook’s annual meeting of stockholders.
Following Zients’s appointment, the board will consist of seven independent, non-employee directors out of nine total directors.
Facebook’s current board members are Mark Zuckerberg; Marc L. Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz; Erskine B. Bowles, President Emeritus, University of North Carolina; Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and Managing Director, General Catalyst; Susan D. Desmond-Hellmann, CEO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Reed Hastings, Chairman and CEO, Netflix; Jan Koum, Founder, WhatsApp; Sheryl K. Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook; and Peter A. Thiel, Founders Fund.
In addition to Zients, Kenneth I. Chenault will join the Audit Committee, from where Susan D. Desmond-Hellmann will move to the Compensation & Governance Committee. Marc L. Andreessen will leave the Compensation & Governance Committee, but continue on the Audit Committee.
“I am proud to join the Facebook Board and I look forward to working with Mark (Zuckerberg) and the other directors as the company builds for the future. This is an exciting time for the company, and I am delighted to be part of the Board as the company works to face the opportunities and challenges of trying to bring the world closer together,” said Zients.
Welcoming him, Zuckerberg posted on Facebook: “Jeff is the rare expert in both business and public policy… I’m looking forward to working together!”
A BA in political science from Duke University, Jeff Zients currently serves as the CEO of the Cranemere Group Limited, a diversified holding company. He also serves on the board of Timbuk2 Design, and is a director of the Biden Cancer Initiative.
From March 2014 to January 2017, Zients served in the Obama administration as Director of the National Economic Council, besides serving as Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget from January 2012 to April 2013.
Introducing Zients, Zuckerberg wrote in his post: “When Healthcare.gov broke during its launch, Jeff was put in charge of fixing it — which he did in three weeks.”
He added: “This is an important time for Facebook as we take a broader view of our responsibility, and Jeff’s experience will help us navigate the challenges we face.”
Thanking “lead independent director” Sue Desmond-Hellmann, Zuckerberg said she helping Facebook develop its board and plan for everything “we need to do in the future”.
The Facebook CEO also thanked Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, who announced his departure from Facebook last week amid reports that he had a difference of opinion with the parent company over a number of issues including data privacy and encryption.
“Jan has done an amazing job building WhatsApp, and I’ve learned so much working with him. I will miss working closely with him,” Zuckerberg said.
Jan Koum was the founder of WhatsApp who sold the instant messaging platform to Facebook for more than $19 billion in 2014.