By Katie Paul

(Reuters) – A veteran meta advertising product manager will leave the company in May, according to an internal Reuters announcement, amid months of project and staff cuts that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has dubbed the “year of efficiency”.

Dan Levy, the social media giant’s current vice president of business messaging, said in a post on Meta’s internal social network on Monday that he wanted to focus on family after losing a child to leukemia.

“I made this decision slowly (over the past 2+ years) and then all of a sudden,” he wrote.

A meta spokesman confirmed Levy’s departure and said business messaging will remain a strategic priority and area of ​​investment for the company this year.

Levy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Levy has been with Meta for 14 years. The business messaging project he leads has been flagged for growth potential by Zuckerberg, despite being replaced as overall head of advertising and business products last year.

Previously, Levy ran Meta’s ads and business products division, now called Monetization. He was replaced in that role last year by John Hegeman, another longtime executive who had managed advertising products under Levy and became Levy’s boss in his new role.

This larger entity oversaw Meta’s adaptation to Apple Inc.’s 2021 iOS privacy changes, a costly disruption that disrupted Meta’s access to the valuable user data it had built its targeted advertising business around.

The department has attempted to build in-app commerce capabilities to compensate for this “loss of signal,” while also using artificial intelligence to improve ad targeting precision, with mixed success.

Executives see business messaging as another part of the solution, as it could finally monetize popular chat app WhatsApp, which Meta bought for $22 billion in 2014 but is yet to generate any meaningful revenue.

Zuckerberg said the business — where brands pay to use Meta’s WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram chat services to sell products and manage customer interactions — is likely to be the “next big pillar” of the company’s revenue growth.

Levy’s departure comes amid a difficult season for Meta, which last week announced a second major round of layoffs coupled with a restructuring plan to end lower-priority projects and “smooth out” layers of middle management.

Another vice president of advertising on the sales side, Michelle Klein, also announced her departure this week. According to her LinkedIn profile, she led a marketing unit of around 1,000 people and steered the company’s rebranding from Facebook to Meta.

Meta also confirmed her departure. Klein did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Katie Paul; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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