WhatsApp India head Abhijit Bose and Meta India's public policy director Rajiv Aggarwal have resigned from their respective positions on Tuesday, days after Mark Zuckerberg-led company announced massive layoffs. Following this, Shivnath Thukral, who is the current public policy director of WhatsApp India, has been appointed as the director of public policy for all Meta-owned social media platforms namely Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram in India.
The development comes days after Ajit Mohan, the former head of Meta India resigned earlier this month, to join the rival Snap, which is the parent company of the social media platform Snapchat. Will Cathcart, head of Whatsapp, said in a statement, “I want to thank Abhijit Bose for his tremendous contributions as our first Head of WhatsApp in India. His entrepreneurial drive helped our team deliver new services that have benefited millions of people and businesses. There is so much more WhatsApp can do for India and we’re excited to continue helping advance India’s digital transformation.”
Bose joined WhatsApp India in 2019. An alumnus of Cornell University and Harvard Business School, Bose is also the co-founder and chief executive officer of fintech start-up Ezetap Mobile Solutions Pvt Ltd. Prior to this, he worked with Oracle and Bain & Company.
In a LinkedIn post, Bose said, “It's been 4 years since I joined as WhatsApp's first Country Head in India, and I'm so proud of what we have built. I'm also really excited about my next gig. I believe that the next 5 years will be transformational for India -- with many of our current pre-IPO companies very quickly becoming global leaders in their respective sectors. After a small break, I plan to rejoin the entrepreneurial world; you’ll see announcements on that shortly!”
Meanwhile, an IAS officer of the 1993 batch, Aggarwal joined Meta India in September last year. Aggarwal has also worked as the head of public policy for Uber India and as the joint secretary in the Government of India. Meta India said that Aggarwal has stepped down to pursue to list other opportunities. “Over the last year, he has played an important role in leading our policy-led initiatives in areas such as user safety, privacy and scaling up programmes like GOAL to drive digital inclusion in the country. He has also been leading proactive engagement with critical policy and regulatory stakeholders,” Manish Chopra, director and head of partnerships at Meta said in a statement. Chopra was made the interim head of Meta India after Mohan’s resignation.
The development comes at a time when Meta has laid off as many as 11,000 employees or 13% of its employees globally owing to weak revenue and a competitive advertising market. In India, which is one of the most lucrative markets for Meta with more than 200 million WhatsApp and Instagram users, the company has laid off employees marginally.
Over the past few months, Meta has undergone a financial crunch. In the third quarter of FY23, the company’s profit more than halved to $4.4 billion as compared to $9.2 billion in the same period year-ago. The company also witnessed a contraction of its sales by 4% in the July to September quarter this year. However, Meta's revenue from operations stood at ₹27.7 billion. Meta's shares have plummeted 73% so far this year. Weighed down by weak September quarter earnings, the stock has lost $80 billion in market valuation.