Facebook veteran and top engineering executive Jay Parikh steps down

Facebook veteran and top engineering executive Jay Parikh steps down
Photo Credit: Reuters
30 Jan, 2020

Facebook vice president of engineering and infrastructure Jay Parikh, is leaving the company after over a decade-long career with the Menlo Park, California headquartered social media giant.

Parikh was instrumental in creating the data centre infrastructure on which the company builds its numerous apps and services. He was also part of a  project that worked on providing wireless internet connectivity to rural areas.

He announced his resignation through a Facebook post. “I have some bittersweet news to share. It’s time to step out of Facebook to explore what’s next,” he said.

“When I first joined Facebook back in 2009, our entire engineering team sat in one building all on one floor, and we were buying off-the-shelf servers and renting data centre space. We supported a few hundred million people mostly using the facebook.com website,” he wrote in his post.

The social media giant now supports a community of three billion people via its various apps, he added. 

“I don’t think we had a data centre when you joined, and now we share our designs so the rest of the world can catch up,” Mark Zuckerberg,  co-founder, chairman and CEO of Facebook, replied on Parikh’s post.

Parikh joined Facebook in November 2009, according to his Linkedin profile. He reports to CTO Mike Schroepfer and will take a few months to complete the transition. It is unclear who will take over his role. According to media reports, David Mortenson will look after the infrastructure side of Parikh’s work. Mortenson is currently the vice president of engineering.

Prior to Facebook, he served in various roles at social networking website Ning Interactive, cloud computing company Akamai Technologies, online interactive marketing solutions provider NetGravity and information technology services and consulting major Accenture.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech.

Facebook has seen a string of top executive departures in recent times. Former chief product officer, Chris Cox, who worked at the company for about 13 years, resigned in March last year. So did Chris Daniels, who was head of Facebook’s messaging app WhatsApp. In August 2018, the company lost former vice president of partnerships Dan Rose, a 12-year veteran at Facebook. 

Parikh is considered one of Zuckerberg’s top lieutenants and his exit comes at a time when the social media giant is facing scrutiny over its user data and content policies. The company has reportedly agreed to pay $550 million to settle a facial recognition technology case. 

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About 2.26 billion people use at least one Facebook product every day. Concerns over data privacy have affected the company’s profits, with Facebook reporting a 16% decline in profits in 2019 to $18.4 billion.