WhatsApp India Head Abhijit Bose, Meta India Public Policy Director Rajiv Aggarwal Resign

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Shivnath Thukral, director of public policy at WhatsApp India, has been appointed as the director of public policy for all Meta brands — Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp — in India

Meta recently initiated mass layoffs and announced a 13% headcount reduction globally which would affect over 11,000 employees

The latest high-profile exits from Meta India come weeks after Meta India head Ajit Mohan’s resignation earlier this month

WhatsApp’s India head Abhijit Bose and Meta India’s director of public policy Rajiv Aggarwal have resigned from their respective positions, Meta said in a statement on Tuesday (November 15).

Shivnath Thukral, director of public policy at WhatsApp India, has been appointed as the director of public policy for all Meta brands — Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp — in India.

The latest high-profile exits from Meta India come weeks after Meta India head Ajit Mohan’s resignation earlier this month. 

It is also pertinent to note that Meta recently initiated mass layoffs and announced a 13% headcount reduction globally which would affect over 11,000 employees.

The development came amid macroeconomic instability and fears of recession. “I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said while announcing the layoffs. The company also extended its hiring freeze till Q1 2023.

Commenting on the latest resignations, Manish Chopra, director of partnerships at Meta India, said, “Rajiv Aggarwal has decided to step down from his role at Meta to pursue another opportunity.”

Over the last year, Aggarwal played an important role in leading policy-led initiatives in areas such as user safety, privacy, and scaling up programs like GOAL to drive digital inclusion in the country, he added.  

“We are also announcing the appointment of Shivnath Thukral as our Director, Public Policy for Meta in India. Shivnath has been an integral part of our Public Policy team since 2017. We remain committed to our users in India and will continue to contribute meaningfully to the regulatory process that will enable everyone to harness the full potential of India’s digital economy,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the company said that a replacement for Bose would be hired soon.

“I want to thank Abhijit Bose for his tremendous contributions as our first Head of WhatsApp in India. His entrepreneurial drive helped our team deliver new services that have benefited millions of people and businesses,” said Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp.

“There is so much more WhatsApp can do for India and we’re excited to continue helping advance India’s digital transformation,” Cathcart added. 

Meta has lost a whopping $9.4 Bn on its Metaverse technology in 2022 so far. In Q2 2022, the Zuckerberg-led social media giant reported a 4% decline in its revenue to $27.71 Bn, in the third consecutive quarter. Meta’s expenses also increased 19% to $22.05 Bn during the quarter.

Meta now expects its 2023 expenses to be between $94 Bn and $100 Bn as against $96 Bn to $101 Bn projected earlier. 

A large population and increasing internet penetration has made India one of the most important markets for Meta. However, the company is caught up in regulatory and legal issues in the country as the Indian government tries to rein in social media platforms and big tech companies.

Besides, Meta is also being probed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in WhatsApp’s contentious privacy policy update of 2021.



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