Meta’s head of PR leaves a company on fire

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It’s hard to blame anyone run away from a burning building. The same can be applied to Silicon Valley, where the head of public relations at Meta, Facebooks parent company, resigns.

As first reported by Wall Street Journal, Vice President of Global Communications, John Pinette, announced the news to employees on Friday after monitoring the company’s external communications since 2019. His departure comes as the technology giant struggles to shut down. several PR brands, most notable among them precipitation from “Facebook papers“, a series of judgmental reports first published by the Journal last fall, which included thousands of leaked internal documents.

“Today will be my last day at Meta,” Pinette wrote in the post, which was reviewed by the Journal. “I know the team will continue to thrive while doing some of the most important – and most difficult – work in communications.”

Meta later confirmed his departure in a statement to several media outlets.

“John Pinette has left Meta. We are grateful for his positive contribution during an intense and significant time in the company’s history, and we wish him the best of luck in the future, ”the company said in a Saturday email to Gizmodo.

It told a Meta spokesman Reuters that Chris Norton, vice president of international communications, will take on the role in the meantime. So far, Meta has not commented publicly on why Pinette left, citing the company’s policy of not commenting on staffing in a statement to Reuters.

Pinette joined the company in 2019 with more than two decades of experience in corporate communications in the tech industry, including previous positions as director of Google’s pan-regional communications in Asia and communications manager at Microsoft.

In September, a former employee of Facebook’s now defunct civilian integrity team, Frances Haugen, shared thousands of internal employee discussions, notes, research, presentations and other company documents to several news outlets in one of Silicon Valley’s biggest leaks to date.

Commonly referred to as Facebook papers, the leaked documents showed, among other things, that researchers on Instagram had thoroughly researched the connection between children’s mental health and its products and were very aware of how harmful the app could be, especially for teenage girls. In response, the U.S. Senate urged Facebook to do so witnesses at a hearing on Instagram’s harmful effects on its younger users.

Amid significant political pressure, the company went back with its previously announced plans to build a version of Instagram specifically aimed at children, although Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri later clarified to lawmakers that it have not shelved the idea completely. Other revelations from the Facebook newspapers, including Facebook’s inadequate policies to slow the spread of climate misinformation and internal disputes over its handling of political ads, has also received public attention.

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