Facebook picks HP's Antonio Lucio as CMO
- Facebook has named Antonio Lucio as its new CMO, Variety reported. Lucio will officially take over the role on Sept. 4 and replaces Gary Briggs, who announced plans for resignation pending the selection of his replacement in January.
- Lucio will report to Chris Cox, Facebook's chief product officer. Cox announced the hire on Facebook, writing that the CMO has an "extraordinary reputation" as a marketer and leader. Lucio will also help diversify Facebook's senior executive ranks.
- Lucio, who was born in Spain and raised in Puerto Rico, was previously chief marketing and communications officer at HP and was before that global CMO at Visa, where he created the company's first global positioning and brand identity system. The exec has also served in marketing management roles at PepsiCo, Kraft General Foods, RJR Foods International and Procter & Gamble. Lucio speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese, according to Variety.
Facebook started ramping up its search for a CMO earlier this month, turning to other social platforms like LinkedIn to find a candidate to replace Briggs. The selection of Lucio is interesting, as other media outlets, including TechCrunch, have noted that the executive was poached from his former employer, HP. Facebook often shuffles its management structure internally but few executives ever actually leave, as noted by Recode, though that might be starting to change as the social network continues to grapple with high-profile privacy controversies and slowed business growth.
Along with managing Facebook's considerable advertising budget and helping usher in more diversity to its leadership, Lucio will need to work to rebuild trust with users following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and ensuing instances where Facebook's data-sharing practices have come under harsh scrutiny. Facebook just last week revealed that the data of another 4 million users was possibly abused by a third-party app called myPersonality, which was mainly active pre-2012. Facebook banned the app and said it has suspended 400 others as part of its efforts to tamp down on privacy violations. That same week, Facebook removed its Onavo virtual private network app from Apple's App Store after the iPhone maker said the app violated its data-collection rules.
Facebook has been addressing the degradation of user trust in a heavy campaign that's called back to the halcyon days of the platform, when it was mostly known as a way for friends and family to stay connected. The marketing push, reportedly one of the company's priciest to date, has been met with a good deal of derision from critics, including the late-night host John Oliver, who recently devoted a segment to mocking it on his HBO show "Last Week Tonight." Some of the out-of-home posters included in the effort were recently vandalized in London as well.
Briggs' formal departure comes right on the tails of Facebook losing both Elliot Schrage, who led the company's public policy and communications group, and Dan Rose, who headed the business development team.
For Q2 earnings reported in late July, Facebook posted a 42% increase in revenue, which reached $13.2 billion, but overall growth decelerated. That trend is expected to continue as the platform places a bigger focus on privacy and allowing users to opt out of third-party data sharing, including through certain ad products.