Zuckerberg and exec’s set Facebook roadmap at year-end meeting

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook Inc’s leading executives sought to rally employees around business priorities such as commerce and virtual reality in a yearlong assembly on Tuesday, playing criticism confronted this year of the company’s record on false and violent speech.

I believe the only way forward is to keep working,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told workers, according to sound of this speech heard by journalists at our partner news agency Reuters.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that criticism of Facebook had hurt staff morale, saying public scrutiny “comes with the territory.” But he also struck a defiant tone, arguing that at least a few of those pushback came from rivals or those with a fascination with Facebook’s reputation.

“We also have to recognize that we have many competitors, and there are people who believe that their success depends on us failing. So it’s important that we don’t just reflexively accept all criticism,” he explained.

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The planet’s biggest social network also grappled with an advertiser boycott that summer over its handling of hate speech, the spread of rhetoric round the US presidential election in November along with a brewing fight by regulators over alleged anticompetitive behaviour.

Despite those headwinds, Zuckerberg and other executives who spoke at Tuesday’s sessions, including Chief Product Officer Chris Cox and Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer, largely tried to keep the focus on technology and product priorities.

Zuckerberg said he’d be “particularly focused” on technology that deliver “a deeper sense of presence,” like augmented and virtual reality.

In addition, he stated the firm had a “unique opportunity around commerce and payments,” as well as building tools that could enable cooperation between people working remotely.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who has played a prominent public role using Facebook than in previous years, closed the session by thanking employees for adapting to distant working arrangements prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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She explained about 20,000 new employees joined the company this season, such as 17,000 hired after the pandemic’s beginning who had never set foot at a Facebook office.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Katie Paul. Editing by David Gregorio.

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