Almost everyone overseeing the future of Facebook’s products is a white man

Mark and his buds.
Mark and his buds.
Image: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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Facebook just underwent the biggest executive re-shuffle in its history, Recode reported May 8. The visual representation of these changes reveals just how few women are in the company’s top leadership responsible for products and engineering.

Out of 15 people in this graphic, the vast majority are white men, and only one, Naomi Gleit—responsible for community growth, integrity, and product management—is a woman.

Recode points out that there are “high-ranking” female product executives that were not affected by these changes. A Facebook spokesperson listed some of them in an email to Quartz, including Fidji Simo who runs video for the Facebook app, and Julie Zhuo, who is responsible for product on the app.

There are other women in senior roles at Facebook. Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is the top brass on the business side, while Susan Li is VP of finance; Lori Goler is head of HR; and Monika Bickert is head of global policy.

However, the executives responsible for the company’s core products—Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp—that reach 5 billion people worldwide each month, as well as its engineering and AI infrastructure, are all led by men. This is also true for potentially large areas of growth within the company, like AR and VR, as well a brand-new blockchain initiative.

The spokesperson pointed Quartz to the diversity report Facebook releases annually, where the company acknowledges that it still has “a long way to go” on these issues. Facebook says women make up 28% of its leadership, and 19% of its technical roles.

On the company’s nine-person board, women occupy two spots.

What are the changes?

Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp all received new leaders in the shakeup, Recode reports. They, along with Instagram’s Kevin Systrom, all report to Chris Cox, the company’s chief product officer. (Previously, they all reported to different people.)

The former head of Messenger, David Marcus, will now lead the company’s new blockchain initiative. Chris Daniels, who used to run Internet.org, the company’s initiative to connect the world to the web, will now run WhatsApp. He replaces Jan Koum, the app’s co-founder who left Facebook April 30 over disagreements with the company on privacy. Will Cathcart will take over running the core Facebook app.

Meanwhile, Adam Mosseri, the head of Facebook’s News Feed, is moving over to become the VP product at Instagram.

The company’s management was restructured into three areas: “Family of apps,” under Cox; “New platforms and infra,” including AR, VR, AI and blockchain, under chief technical officer Mike Schroepfer; and, “Central product services,” such as advertising and security across Facebook’s platforms, under longtime executive Javier Olivan.

Facebook also announced today that another man, Jeff Zients, CEO of the holding company Cranemere Group, and former Obama administration official, will be taking the board seat vacated by WhatsApp founder Jan Koum.