Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer to step down after eight years

23 Sep 2021

Outgoing Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer. Image: Facebook

Andrew Bosworth, current head of VR and AR at Facebook, will take over the role of CTO as Schroepfer becomes a senior fellow at the company.

Mike Schroepfer, chief technology officer of Facebook, will step down from his role “some time in 2022”.

Schroepfer announced the decision on his personal Facebook profile, saying it would allow him to dedicate more time to his family and his philanthropic efforts. “This is a difficult decision because of how much I love Facebook and how excited I am about the future we are building together,” he added.

Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder and CEO, thanked Schroepfer in a blog post for his “extraordinary contributions to our community and our company” in his eight and a half years as CTO. Schroepfer worked at the company for 13 years in total, spending four and a half years as vice-president of engineering prior to his current position.

He will now transition to the part-time role of senior fellow at the company. Andrew Bosworth, currently a vice-president and head of Facebook’s augmented and virtual reality division, Facebook Reality Labs, will take over as CTO.

The appointment of an executive with such a strong background in hardware as CTO is likely a signal that the company intends to intensity its focus in that area in the coming years.

Facebook has increasingly sought to be a player in hardware-related fields, from its recent collaboration with Ray Ban on smart glasses to Zuckerberg’s vision of becoming a “metaverse company”. Just this week, two new Facebook Portal video-conferencing devices were announced.

Bosworth, often known as Boz, made headlines in 2018 when Buzzfeed News published an internal Facebook memo in which the executive admitted that the social network could be the cause of deaths and terrorist attacks, but that he thought this was “justified” because of the positive effects of the service.

The new CTO is a long-time Facebook employee, having joined the company in 2006 after a brief stint at Microsoft. Zuckerberg said the choice of Bosworth is “foundational to our broader efforts helping to build the metaverse” and that he was “excited about the future of this work under Boz’s leadership”.

In a tweet, Bosworth congratulated Schroepfer on an “epic 13-year run” and said he believed there was “lots to do still”. The outgoing CTO said he was “very very excited” to see what Bosworth would accomplish.

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Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin