Facebook goes through corporate reorg

After privacy slap and with IPO looming, social network names 5 team leaders

Facebook confirmed Thursday that it has launched a corporate reorganization around its product development.

About a week after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission came down on the social network for not taking better care of users' privacy, Facebook has gone through a reorganization with an eye toward privacy and better communication, according to industry analysts.

"We can confirm that in order to streamline the product development process, we have reorganized our technical teams into product groups" reporting to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said a Facebook spokeswoman in an email to Computerworld.

The company, which reportedly is looking at an early-2012 initial public offering, also named five new team leaders: Bret Taylor, Chris Cox, Greg Badros, Mike Schroepfer and Sam Lessin.

On Wednesday, All Things D reported that the new corporate setup more closely links various teams to both privacy and communication leaders.

The FTC last week released an eight-count complaint accusing Facebook of violating its promises to users and repeatedly deceiving them by sharing information that users had thought was private.

The social network agreed to a proposed settlement, which includes periodic privacy audits for the next 20 years, as well as a promise to get users' approval before making changes to the way Facebook shares their information.

"Facebook is a very young and private company, and it recognized it needed to reorganize to reflect a more responsible and accountable organization," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "It was time to grow up, and Facebook hopes this will be part of what helps it accomplish just that. The potential downside is that Facebook adds layers and process, which, for some companies, slows execution and hampers creativity."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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