26 July 2018

Facebook's top lawyer used social page to announce planned departure

When Facebook is to lose its top lawyer, it seems natural to post the announcement on his social page, even if he only has 601 followers.

Facebook’s top lawyer Colin Stretch, who led Facebook’s investigation into Russian election interference efforts following the 2016 US presidential election, has announced he is to leave the company at the end of the year.

Facebook post

Mr Stretch joined Facebook in 2010, and used the social platform to announce his plan to leave, saying ‘I am committed to doing my part to assist with the transition and will stay on through the end of the year’ to help find his replacement. He and his Facebook legal team are being kept busy in all media, having to deal with fallout from the 2016 US election, the upcoming 2018 midterms and company executives saying they expect more foreign interference. Facebook is also under federal investigation by government agencies including the FTC, the FBI and the Department of Justice, resulting from the Cambridge Analytica debacle and Facebook’s handling of the matter. When CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently testified before congress Mr Stretch was in attendance, and he was the only representative from Facebook last year when the company testified before two senate committees and a house committee to discuss Russian election interference.

Difficult to remain

Mr Stretch posted to his 601 followers on Facebook that when he and his wife ‘made the decision a few years ago to move back to DC from California, we knew it would be difficult for me to remain in this role indefinitely. As Facebook embraces the broader responsibility Mark has discussed in recent months, I've concluded that the company and the Legal team need sustained leadership in Menlo Park.’ He added, ‘this has not been an easy decision,’ and ‘there is never a “right time” for a transition like this, but the team and the company boast incredible talent and will navigate this well.’ Facebook will conduct an outside search for Stretch’s replacement.