Chris Cox (Facebook)

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Chris Cox
Chris Cox.jpg
Born (1982-09-02) September 2, 1982 (age 37)
EducationStanford University
OccupationCPO at Facebook (2005—2019, 2020—)
Visra Vichit-Vadakan
m. 2010)

Christopher Cox (born September 2, 1982) is a computer scientist and the chief product officer (CPO) at Facebook. He served as chief of staff to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on product development and was responsible for its "family of apps": Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger. Cox stepped down as Chief Product Officer at Facebook in 2019 as the company aimed for new leadership as part of its new direction towards an encrypted, integrated messaging network.[1] He returned to Facebook in the same position in June 2020.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Cox was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Winnetka, Illinois. He is the youngest of three children. He attended New Trier High School where he played in the jazz band. Cox attended Stanford University, where he received a bachelor's degree in 2003 in symbolic systems with a concentration in artificial intelligence.[4][5] He dropped out of the natural language processing group and his graduate degree program at Stanford to join Facebook in 2005.[6][7][8]


Cox joined Facebook in 2005 as one of its first 15 software engineers, where he was instrumental in designing and building first versions of key Facebook features including News Feed.[9][10] He then became Director of Human Resources, building out Facebook's HR and recruiting programs and leading the process of defining the company's mission and values. In 2008, he became the Vice President of Product, where he built Facebook's product management (PM) and design teams, before being promoted to Chief Product Officer in 2014.[11]

In May 2018, he was put in charge of its apps: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, to set up better integration for shared services like integrity and infrastructure, while setting a strategy for better differentiation in their product portfolios.[12]

At the age of 28, Cox was listed on the Forbes 40 Under 40 list,[13] as well as Fast Company's list of "Most Creative People in Business".[14] In 2015, Forbes described him as "The Most Important Executive In Silicon Valley That No One Is Talking About".[15]

In March 2019, Cox announced that he was leaving Facebook.[16] He returned to the company in June 2020, saying "I’ve been away just over a year but it’s a different world now.“It’s also the place I know best, and the best place for me to roll up my sleeves and dig in to help."[17]

On June 12, 2020 it was announced that Cox would be returning to Facebook as their Chief Product Officer.

Personal life[edit]

Cox married a fellow Stanford University grad and movie director, Visra Vichit-Vadakan in 2010.[18][19] The couple have a son and a daughter, together they live in California. Vichit-Vadakan is the granddaughter of Luang Wichitwathakan, a Thai politician, historian, novelist and playwright.


Cox is an advisor to Acronym, a progressive nonprofit organization. [20]


  1. ^ Thompson, Nicholas (March 14, 2019). "Facebook's head of product leaves after privacy pivot". Wired.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Facebook Promotes VP Of Product Chris Cox To Chief Product Officer, But No Organizational Change". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  5. ^ "Haas Center Receives Gift to Launch High School Mentoring Program". Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford University. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  6. ^ "Facebook's Chris Cox: A very likable pitchman". Los Angeles Times. 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  7. ^ Dwoskin, Elizabeth (2019-05-19). "Facebook says its top product executive, Chris Cox, is leaving, the highest-level departure in years". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-03-01. Cox, who dropped out of a Stanford University graduate degree program to work with Zuckerberg when the company had just 15 engineers
  8. ^ "21. Chris Cox". Fast Company. 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2020-04-01. His quest took him to the legendary Symbolic Systems program at Stanford, and into post-graduate work in the university’s natural language processing group
  9. ^ Parloff, Roger (2019-04-25). "Facebook's Chris Cox was more than just the world's most powerful chief product officer". Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  10. ^ "Facebook loses CPO Chris Cox and WhatsApp VP Chris Daniels". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  11. ^ "Company Info - Facebook Newsroom".
  12. ^ Wagner, Kurt (2018-05-08). "Chris Cox is becoming Facebook's most important executive not named Mark Zuckerberg". Recode. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  13. ^ "40 under 40 - 27. Chris Cox, Mike Schroepfer, and Bret Taylor (27) - FORTUNE". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  14. ^ "Most Creative People in Business 2011". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  15. ^ Jackson, Eric. "The Most Important Executive In Silicon Valley That No One Is Talking About". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  16. ^ "Facebook's top product executive, Chris Cox, to leave company". The Mercury News. 2019-03-14. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  17. ^ "Chris Cox". Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  18. ^ "Facebook CPO Donates $1 Million to East Palo Alto Nonprofit". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  19. ^ "Zuckerberg impressed with Thai culture". 2010. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  20. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Media related to Chris Cox (Facebook) at Wikimedia Commons