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Facebook Security Chief Reportedly Leaving Over Russia Probe Disagreement

Alex Stamos
Andre Kosters/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

Facebook’s chief information security officer Alex Stamos is leaving the company over internal disagreements on how to handle the investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election, the New York Times reported Monday afternoon citing anonymous sources within the company.

Stamos reportedly had been internally pushing for aggressively investigating and disclosing Russia’s actions on its platform, something that other senior executives, including COO Sheryl Sandberg, disagreed on. He made the decision to leave the company back in December, but agreed to stay on until August to help with the transition of his responsibilities, according to the New York Times.

Facebook didn’t respond to repeat questions on Stamos’ planned departure Monday, and instead sent out a statement highlighting that he was still working at Facebook — something that the New York Times report hand’t disputed. Here’s the company’s full statement:

“Alex Stamos continues to be the Chief Security Officer (CSO) at Facebook. He has held this position for nearly three years and leads our security efforts especially around emerging security risks. He is a valued member of the team and we are grateful for all he does each and every day.”

The information security team that Stamos had overseen within the company has since been integrated into Facebook’s product team, with the Times reporting that out of 120 staffers, only 3 are left as part of the original team.

Stamos had been known for openly engaging with both users and critics on Facebook and Twitter about issues relating to the Russia probe.

The report comes on the heels of revelations that Trump campaign-affiliated Cambridge Analytica had been able to obtain personal data on tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent. Facebook’s stock was down close to 7 percent at the close of markets Monday due to these reports, which also resulted in U.S. senators calling for hearings on the data abuse.

Update: 5:40pm: This post was updated with a statement from Facebook.