Facebook policy and comms head Elliot Schrage is stepping down

15 Jun 2018

Facebook offices in California. Image: Benny Marty/Shutterstock

The longtime policy head of Facebook is leaving after a decade.

After 10 years, Elliot Schrage, head of Facebook’s communications and policy team, is stepping down from his role.

Schrage will stay on to help in the search for his replacement, according to Recode. He is also to serve as an adviser to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.

An intense role

In a statement, Schrage described his wish to start a new chapter in his life: “Leading policy and communications for hyper-growth technology companies is a joy – but it’s also intense and leaves little room for much else. Mark, Sheryl and I have been discussing this for a while.”

He added: “I have had more than just a front-row seat to one of the most important developments in human history, but the chance to be in the arena.”

Schrage oversaw the curation of Facebook’s public image, including the firm’s response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year. Though the company’s response to the events had been heavily criticised, Facebook said Schrage’s exit was on the cards for a while prior to the emergence of major recent controversies. A spokesperson for Facebook said Schrage had discussed his desire to leave his current role with both Sandberg and Zuckerberg as far back as 2016.

Boosting transparency on Facebook

Schrage has been lobbying internally for more transparency efforts to be made by Facebook and was the originator of the ‘Hard Questions’ blog series, where executives tackle thorny subjects such as data privacy and the plague of fake news that has befallen the platform and others in recent years.

His departure is unusual as it is uncommon for high-level executives at Facebook to leave the company.

Addressing Schrage, Zuckerberg said: “You’ve made an extraordinary contribution to Facebook, dealing with some of our toughest challenges and helping enable some of our biggest opportunities.” The CEO added that he looked forward to Schrage helping the company in an advisory role.

Facebook offices in California. Image: Benny Marty/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects