Van Natta Out As Facebook’s COO

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What’s in a title?  Well, sometimes, a lot of words – I believe the most I’ve seen was 23 – but Owen Van Natta’s job at Facebook had a nice, simple name: chief operating officer.  Now Van Natta’s been given the title of “chief revenue officer and vice president of operations,” and yes, by comparison, that’s neither concise nor prestigious.

Don’t feel too bad for the guy – he probably still makes more in a month than most of us earn in a year.  Also, it’s not like he was even replaced; BoomTown’s Kara Swisher reports, “Van Natta now shares power – how uneasily it remains to be seen – with newly installed Vice President of Marketing and Operations Chamath Palihapitiya . . . longtime exec Matt Cohler, vice president of strategy and business operations . . . newly installed CFO Gideon Yu . . . co-founder and Vice President of Product Engineering Dustin Moskovitz; and CTO Adam D’Angelo.”

The title change is nonetheless being viewed as a demotion, however, since “second in command” is not on par with “one of six lieutenants.”

Why the downgrade, then?  Facebook’s denying that this is anything of the sort, so there’s no official explanation.  As for the “move” – the neutral or even positive “move” – paidContent.org’s Staci D. Kramer describes it as “an expansion of the management team as [Facebook] hovers between well-funded, fast-growing startup, acquisition target and possible mega IPO.”

One has to wonder how many more of these expansions we’ll see as whatever’s happening comes to a head.

Van Natta Out As Facebook’s COO
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