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NEW DELHI : The Indian unit of Meta saw two top exits on Tuesday, with WhatsApp India chief Abhijit Bose and Meta India director for public policy Rajiv Aggarwal stepping down from their roles.

Shivnath Thukral, WhatsApp’s director for public policy in India, will take charge as director of public policy for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in India.

The company did not name a replacement for Bose.

In a LinkedIn post on Tuesday, he said he is “really excited" about his next role: “After a small break, I plan to rejoin the entrepreneurial world."

According to Bose, the decision to leave after four years “has not been an easy one". He added, though, that the move was planned for a while, but the announcement was held back due to last week’s layoffs at Meta. “We wanted to hold this back so we could focus on supporting those impacted last week," he added.

Bose and Aggarwal’s departures come at a time Meta has been laying off employees from its global offices. On 9 November, Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company would be laying off about 13% of its staff globally, leading to more than 11,000 layoffs.

“At the start of covid, the world rapidly moved online, and the surge of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth. Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected," Zuckerberg said in a blog post then.

Zuckerberg’s announcement came six days after Meta India’s head, Ajit Mohan, resigned to join rival Snap Inc. as president of its Asia-Pacific business. Meta’s India staff, though, has not been impacted by the ongoing tech layoffs as much as microblogging platform Twitter.

On 5 November, Twitter’s new owner and CEO, Elon Musk, cut a 230-250 member team to under 10 members in India while paring almost 50% of the global workforce.

Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, thanked Bose for his “entrepreneurial drive" as the first head of WhatsApp India.

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

Manish Chopra, director of partnerships at Meta, India, too, thanked Bose for his “proactive engagement with critical policy and regulatory stakeholders", a role that Thukral will now perform.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Abhijit Ahaskar

Abhijit writes on tech policy, gaming, security, AI, robotics, electronics and startups. He has been in the media industry for over 12 years.
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