Facebook has chosen Alex Schultz, previously its vice-president of product growth, analytics and internationalization, as its new chief marketing officer. Schultz assumes the mantle after Antonio Lucio, the former HP exec, stepped down last month. But who is Schultz and what will he change?
Who is Alex Schultz?
Schultz is a Facebook veteran, having served 13 years in growth and analytics.
Arriving as a fresh-faced analyst in 2007, Schultz has steadily worked his way up through the ranks to become first a manager and then a director, before being appointed vice-president in 2014.
By promoting internally rather than bringing in outside talent, Facebook may be seeking to integrate brand safety considerations more broadly into its marketing as privacy and hate speech issues continue to hound the company.
Rising to prominence after playing a key role in tackling brand safety issues over the past four years, Schultz is credited with helping to improve community standards and implement a code of conduct report with the European Commission.
In his past life, Schulz served as a marketing manager at eBay.
Having spent much of 2020 working on infrastructure projects related to public health and misinformation issues around Covid-19, Schultz assumes the chief marketing officer position with immediate effect.
What will be his top priorities?
The appointment comes mere weeks ahead of a critical US election, in which Democratic challenger Joe Biden has come out all guns blazing against Facebook, describing it as ”the nation’s foremost propagator of disinformation about the voting process” after it refused to remove misinformation posted by President Trump.
Schultz has said he intends to build on his predecessor’s legacy by harnessing his own experience in segmentation, targeting and measurement. ”I also hope to deepen the strategic impact that Antonio made in focusing on building trust and value across our portfolio of brands.”
Outlining his manifesto further, Schultz continued: ”I have grown up in online marketing and believe deeply in the economic empowerment it can bring, its ability to show people more tailored, relevant, less annoying ads, and the fact it allows us to serve everyone by offering our products for free. I believe deeply in the good Facebook’s products do.”
He added: ”At the same time I think scrutiny of any new technology is appropriate and there are ways we can, and should, improve without losing all the good.”