Facebook ad integrity chief Rob Leathern exits

Product management lead had been overseeing enforcement of advertising and business policies for nearly four years.

Facebook's Rob Leathern: left at end of 2020
Facebook's Rob Leathern: left at end of 2020

Rob Leathern, who led Facebook's business integrity division, including the enforcement of political advertising policies and its handling of misinformation, has departed the tech giant.

Leathern, whose job title was director of product management, left the company on December 30, according to tweets. The news was first reported by Reuters.

He tweeted that he had made "the difficult decision to leave Facebook" to take up a new role in the tech, data and privacy space.

"I will share more about where I’m going in the next week or two," Leathern tweeted on Saturday.

Leathern had overseen the business integrity product team for nearly four years. The team is responsible for enforcing ads and business policies for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other Facebook products. In the past year, that has included navigating the tricky terrains of political advertising and COVID-19 misinformation.

He has been the spokesperson for Facebook on these topics several times, including on Facebook's decision to extend its November ban on political advertising coinciding with the presidential election. Facebook lifted the temporary post-election ban on political ads in Georgia ahead of the Tuesday run-off that will determine which party controls the Senate.

Leathern said working on business, ad integrity and trust at Facebook has been "difficult and demanding work at times," but added that "the passionate and dedicated crew I worked with have accomplished a great deal in these last few years." 

CPG giant Unilever said last month that it would resume advertising on Facebook and Instagram in January after pausing paid media on the platforms in June as part of the #StopHateForProfit boycott.

A version of this story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific

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