Instagram Finally Found Its New No. 2 Executive
(Bloomberg) -- After nearly nine months of searching, Instagram finally found its new No. 2: He was in the building right down the road.
Justin Osofsky, a longtime Facebook Inc. senior executive and member of the company’s management team, is joining Instagram as chief operating officer, the de-facto second-in-command to Adam Mosseri.
It’s a high-profile addition for Instagram, as Osofsky brings a wealth of experience from parent company Facebook, where he has spent 11 years. Osofsky was increasingly involved in safety and security efforts at Facebook following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and was responsible for teams that conduct content reviews, among other things, and also oversaw mergers and acquisitions. He previously ran media partnerships.
The move was announced to Instagram employees Monday morning.
The appointment also fills a big hole for Mosseri, who has been looking for a COO since last fall. Osofsky is joining an executive team at Instagram that’s been almost entirely rebuilt over the past six months after a number of departures and an internal restructuring.
Former COO Marne Levine transitioned to a different job at Facebook last fall, Instagram’s heads of product and engineering went to work on Facebook’s new blockchain division, and co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger left unexpectedly late last year. Mosseri, who joined Instagram from Facebook in May 2018, was promoted to lead the entire team in October while those other jobs remained vacant.
“These last months have been intense, but they’ve also been exciting,” Mosseri said in an email. “With Mike and Kevin leaving I was concerned about how warm the internal reception would be to me stepping into this role. I know some people still have questions, but I’ve been really heartened by people’s support. The culture here is one of support, in addition to one of simplicity and craft, and I deeply appreciate that.”
That executive team has been reassembled so far in 2019. Instagram promoted an internal product leader, Vishal Shah, to head of product in December; it took a few other longtime Facebook employees to lead engineering, design and communications back in May; and now it has a COO. Mosseri also on Monday announced a new head of marketing, Gedioen Aloula, from HP Inc., and a new head of analytics, Tamar Shapiro, who already worked at Instagram but used to work at Foursquare Inc. and American Express Inc.
Instagram has grown in importance inside Facebook in recent years. The app has more than 1 billion users, and some estimates show Instagram will soon provide the majority of Facebook’s revenue growth as the number of new users for the company’s core social network begins to slow. One year ago, Instagram was estimated to be worth around $100 billion, or around 20% of Facebook’s total market value.
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