Facebook's "Social" Chief Pushes Human Interaction

Sitting in the cubicle next to founder Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook Inc.’s headquarters is a young executive who is taking on a critical challenge for the world’s largest social network: making it more social.

Chris Cox, Facebook’s 28-year-old vice president of product, manages the teams of programmers and designers behind last week’s unveiling of the social network’s newest feature–the ability to sort small groups of friends–as well as other recent additions like check-ins at real-world places.

In a company filled with often reclusive programmers, Mr. Cox is an extrovert who plays in a reggae band. His top job is deepening Facebook’s role in the lives of its users while toeing the line on privacy concerns by making the site hew to real-world social norms.
A Stanford-trained software engineer who joined Facebook in 2005 after dropping out of a graduate-degree program, he takes a social approach to designing products. Humans, not computer formulas, Mr. Cox insists, can make Facebook and the Internet more useful.

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