Metaplatforms Inc. sine
The head of communications said that he leaves the company in a post on Friday afternoon to employees, and creates a void at the top of the department that handles the controversies surrounding the technology giant.
John Pinette had overseen the company’s external communications since 2019. Before joining what was then Facebook, Mr. Pinette handled business and philanthropic deals for the late Microsoft founder Paul Allen. He also communicated for Alphabet Inc. sine
Google in Asia and gave Microsoft advice Corp.
co-founder Bill Gates in previous jobs.
“Today will be my last day at Meta,” Mr. Pinette wrote in the post. “I know the team will continue to thrive as you do some of the most important – and most difficult – communication work.”
Mr. Pinette declined to comment further when reached late Friday. A Meta spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Pinette was known as one who tried to build cordial relationships with journalists.
Starting in September, The Wall Street Journal published a series of articles, called The Facebook Files, which revealed the damage caused by the social media company’s platforms, identified by its own researchers, and its challenges in dealing with them. The articles were based in part on thousands of documents produced by an internal whistleblower. The detailed issues, including how Facebook’s algorithm promotes disagreement and how the researchers concluded that their platforms, especially Instagram, can harm teens’ mental health.
The revelations were the subject of several congressional hearings and pressured the company to put a tighter lid on internal research.
In an article last month, the Journal reported that Meta’s chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had ordered his subordinates to react more forcefully to the bad publicity.
Meta’s communications department includes hundreds of employees and is responsible for everything from marketing the company’s products to responding to press inquiries about activity on the platforms, which are used by more than three billion people worldwide.
Write to Meghan Bobrowsky at Meghan.Bobrowsky@wsj.com
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Appeared in print January 8, 2022 as “Meta’s Head of Communications Leaves.”