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Facebook Hires HP Exec Antonio Lucio as CMO to Lead Branding After Series of Controversies

Facebook has turned to marketing pro Antonio Lucio to lead its communications strategy after a series of brand-tarnishing episodes.

Most recently, Lucio was HP’s chief marketing and communications officer and previously was Visa’s global CMO. At Facebook, he reports to chief product officer Chris Cox, with an official start date of Sept. 4. Lucio replaces Gary Briggs, who stepped down as the social giant’s chief marketing officer in January 2018, saying he would consult for companies and Democratic candidates.

Cox, in a Facebook post Thursday (Aug. 23) announcing the hire, praised Lucio’s “extraordinary reputation in the industry as a leader, a marketer, an operator, and a wise, gracious, and deeply principled human being.”

Lucio comes on board as Facebook continues to deal with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal that erupted earlier this year, which involved the political consulting firm’s illicit capture of data on millions of users. Just this week, Facebook disclosed that data on another 4 million users “may have been misused” by a third-party app, and it has suspended hundreds of other apps from the platform. The company also has been in the hot seat for its role facilitating attempts by Russia to influence U.S. elections, as well as how it manages content like misinformation and hate speech.

“Facebook’s story is at an inflection point,” Cox acknowledged in his post. “We have never faced bigger challenges, and we have never had more opportunities to have a positive impact on the world — in our families, our friendships, our communities, and our democracy — by improving our products at their core, and then by telling the story outside that we all know to be true inside.”

Lucio, born in Spain and raised in Puerto Rico, also will contribute to diversifying Facebook’s senior-executive ranks. Cox praised Lucio’s outspokenness “on the importance of building diverse teams at every level in the organization.”

Prior to joining HP in 2015, Lucio spent eight years at Visa, most recently as global chief marketing and communication officer, where he created the company’s first global positioning and brand-identity system. He also has held marketing management positions at companies including PepsiCo, Kraft General Foods, RJR Foods International and Procter & Gamble.

Lucio holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Louisiana State University. He’s fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, according to his HP bio.

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