Facebook is planning a major change of face for its India operations, a country where it has 250 million users. As per internal mails reviewed by ET, the social network major will rejig how its top management in India will function.
The new country head, the search for which is on, will be designated managing director and vice president (MD & VP), India and will now report to David Fischer, Facebook’s global VP of business and marketing partnerships, based out of US. Fischer is leading the headhunt for a new chief in India.
This is a change from the earlier policy where earlier India heads were designated as MD, India and reported to Facebook’s Asia-Pacific head in Singapore. The new VP & MD will be responsible for global marketing sales, partnerships, policy (except content policy), and communications.
Currently, Facebook India’s functional heads for communications, partnerships, marketing, sales reported to Asia Pacific office executives in Singapore. These moves will eventually result in Facebook’s India operations to get delinked from its Asia Pacific setup.
Facebook has been without an India head since October 2017. Its previous two India MDs — Umang Bedi and Kirthiga Reddy — were mostly responsible for sales, without much of a say in the other functions, as per sources.
A company internal mail written by Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Public Policy, states: “India is our fastest-growing market and we’ve concluded as a company that we need to change our organizational structure to set us up for the greatest success”.
Kaplan also writes: “There is significant complexity in the market across multiple functions and operating as an integrated business externally in India has proved challenging.”
Ankhi Das, Facebook’s director of public policy, India, South and Central Asia, and her team, will “report directly to this new VP”.
"Ankhi [Das] will have a dotted line to me, and her team will also remain connected to me and our global team - continuing to participate in all of the leadership and other policy meetings - to ensure our strategy in India is aligned with our overall policy objectives," Kaplan's email added.
In May, ET and other news publications had reported that several candidates had been interviewed for the position. These included Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan, Star India MD Sanjay Gupta, Tata Sky CEO Harit Nagpal, and former Karnataka IT Secretary, Srivatsa Krishna.