Facebook ad integrity chief Rob Leathern exits

Product management lead had been overseeing enforcement of advertising and business policies for nearly four years.

Leathern: left at end of 2020
Leathern: left at end of 2020

Rob Leathern, who led Facebook's business integrity division, including the enforcement of political advertising policies and its handling of misinformation, has departed the tech giant.

Leathern, whose job title was director of product management, left the company on 30 December, according to his Twitter posts. The news was first reported by Reuters.

He said on Twitter that he had made "the difficult decision to leave Facebook" to take up a new role in the tech/data/privacy space.

"I will share more about where I’m going in the next week or two," Leathern tweeted on 2 January.

Leathern had overseen the business integrity product team for nearly four years. The team is responsible for enforcing ads and business policies across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other Facebook products. In the past year, that has included navigating the tricky terrains of political advertising and Covid-19 misinformation.

He has been the spokesperson for Facebook on these topics several times, including on Facebook's decision to extend its November ban on political advertising coinciding with the US presidential election. Facebook lifted the temporary post-election ban on political ads in Georgia ahead of the 5 January run-off that will determine which party controls the US Senate.

Leathern said working on business, ad integrity and trust at Facebook has been "difficult and demanding work at times", but added that "the passionate and dedicated crew I worked with have accomplished a great deal in these last few years".

A version of this story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific

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