Facebook vice president of communications Caryn Marooney is leaving the company after eight years, saying that she wants to return to her roots in tech and product.
While there is never a good time for a company to bid farewell to one of its top communications executives, the timing is especially critical for Facebook after a crisis-filled 2018.
Marooney did not reveal a departure date, saying in a Facebook post that she will stay on to help CEO Mark Zuckerberg, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and vp of global affairs and communications Nick Clegg find a successor.
She wrote, “What makes this so hard is that I have more faith in Facebook than ever. When I started working with Facebook in 2008 (I was still running OutCast), Facebook had 40 million people using the service and was only available in the U.S. When I moved in-house eight years ago, Facebook was just a website. So much has changed: We are now Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality), Portal, with global data centers and amazing technology and engineering. But so much has stayed the same: There is so much good happening on Facebook and the entire family of applications every day. And for our challenges, we have plans in place and the right people working on them.”
Facebook spokesperson Vanessa Chan also confirmed to Issie Lapowsky of Wired that vp of international policy and communications Debbie Frost is retiring, and former Tesla vp of communications Sarah O’Brien joined the company as vp of executive communications.
Zuckerberg said in a comment on Marooney’s post, “We started working together when Facebook was just a website and—from mobile to Instagram to WhatsApp to Messenger and AR/VR—you’ve been there every step of the way. Thank you for the dedication and brilliance you have brought to Facebook over the years. You should feel proud of everything you’ve helped to build.”
Sandberg said in a statement, “From when we were a startup to where we are today, Caryn has been an intelligent, consistent and thoughtful leader. Mark and I are so grateful for everything she has done for Facebook.”
And Clegg added in a statement, “I am sad that Caryn has decided to leave the comms leader role, although I understand her wish to seek out new adventures after so many years of commitment and hard work at Facebook. Caryn inspires great loyalty in the communications team she has led so brilliantly, through good times and bad.”