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Adam Mosseri widely tipped to be Instagram’s new CEO

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Adam Mosseri
Instagram’s head of product, Adam
Mosseri.

Getty

  • Facebook loyalist Adam Mosseri is tipped to take over
    the top job at Instagram after cofounders Kevin Systrom and
    Mike Krieger quit unexpectedly on Monday.
  • Mosseri previously ran Facebook’s Newsfeed and became
    Instagram’s head of product in May as part of an executive
    reshuffle.
  • He’s been at the company for more than a decade and is
    thought to be in Mark Zuckerberg’s inner circle.
  • Mosseri will have to tread the line between growing
    Instagram and keeping it fresh, as well as keeping
    rank-and-file staff happy about greater integration with
    Facebook.

One of the most high-profile jobs inside Facebook is up for grabs
— but perhaps not for very long.

The two founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger,

announced they were quitting the company on Monday
amid
rumours of increasing tensions with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In a statement announcing their resignation, the pair
hinted at disagreements with their parent firm
, and said they
were leaving to create something new.

Their departure means there’s a vacancy at the top of Instagram,
the coolest and most design-oriented of Facebook’s properties.

And there’s lots of speculation that the job won’t go to one of
the remaining Instagram crew, but a Facebook lifer and product
designer called Adam Mosseri.
The New York Times
,
The Information
, and Cheddar’s
Alex Heath
have all tipped Mosseri, who has worked at
Facebook for more than 10 years, as the man to beat.

Mosseri has proven he can do a tough job

Mosseri is thought to be in Mark Zuckerberg’s inner circle,
ranking among a tight cabal of executives that have remained
loyal to the Facebook CEO over the years, such as Sheryl Sandberg
and CTO Mike Schroepfer.

He joined Facebook in 2008, only four years after the company was
founded, as a product designer and worked his way up the ranks
over the subsequent decade.

Not everything he’s created has lasted — he oversaw Facebook
Home, a now-defunct home screen for Android phones that made it
easier to post to the social network. It hasn’t been updated
since 2013.


Adam Mosseri in 2013
Adam
Mosseri shows off the now-defunct Facebook
Home

Reuters

In 2016, he began running Facebook’s Newsfeed, explaining its
occasionally baffling changes to journalists and publications. As
part of his Newsfeed role, Mosseri became a proficient Twitter
user. He follows 539 people at current count, a large chunk of
whom are technology or media journalists.

In that position, he was one of the few Facebook executives who
was vocal on Twitter during the firm’s Cambridge Analytica data
scandal, while the firm’s upper ranks remained outwardly silent.
He and other executives were frequently and aggressively
challenged over Facebook’s role in the scandal and its wider
impact on society.

Here’s an example tweet sent at the height of the scandal where
he explains that Facebook doesn’t sell user data to advertisers:

And another where he acknowledges that data is how Facebook can
make money:

In 2018, Mosseri was shifted to become head of product at
Instagram, putting him in pole position for the top job. This
management reshuffle, which saw Instagram’s former product boss
Kevin Weil head to Facebook, brought Instagram closer to its
parent company and has been cited among the reasons why
Systrom and Krieger quit.

As well as Twitter, the 35-year-old is an avid Facebook and
Instagram user, posting photos of his wife of five years,
businesswoman Monica Mosseri, and his two children. Both of his
kids, Blaise and Nico, have their own Instagram accounts, set to
private.

He spent the weekend in Berlin, Germany, but appeared to be back
in San Francisco as the drama kicked off at Instagram on Monday,
when he posted this picture of a shipwreck in Point Reyes.

Couldn’t resist the 🚢.

A post shared by Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) on Sep 23, 2018 at 3:48pm PDT on

Instagram is Facebook’s golden child


According to a June analysis by Bloomberg
, the value of
Instagram has increased 100-fold since Facebook acquired it for
$1 billion in 2012.

Mosseri would inherit a plum, if high-pressure job, given that
Instagram is perceived as Facebook’s cooler younger sibling, and

the source of its future growth
. eMarketer said Instagram
will account for around 17% of Facebook’s total ad revenue in
2018, bringing in some $8 billion.

According to a media agency source speaking to Business Insider,
Instagram has benefited from Facebook’s advertising
infrastructure, while maintaining its appeal to a hard-to-reach
younger demographic.

Instagram’s value to advertisers is only growing as Facebook’s
core app becomes worse at younger demographics, the person said.
And Instagram has mostly escaped issues of fake news and
inappropriate censorship that have plagued its older sibling.

If he gets the top job, Mosseri will need to tread the line
between keeping Instagram growing in users and revenue, without
overcrowding the app with new features. He may also have to deal
with any dissatisfaction among rank-and-file staff that the app
is becoming closer to Facebook.

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