By Aditya Kalra and Yuvraj Malik
BENGALURU/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Meta Platforms Inc’s India head Ajit Mohan has quit after four years in the role to join rival Snap Inc, the companies said on Thursday, a high-profile exit for the Facebook parent in its biggest market.
Mohan has stepped down with immediate effect and Manish Chopra, director and head of partnerships at Meta India, will take over as interim head, a Meta spokesperson told Reuters.
Mohan will join Snap as president, Asia-Pacific and report into Chief Operating Officer Jerry Hunter, a Snap spokesperson told Reuters.
His exit comes as Facebook faces a host of regulatory challenges in the country where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has been tightening laws governing Big Tech companies.
The company has for years faced criticism for doing little to curb the spread of fake news and hate speech in India.
During Mohan’s tenure, Meta navigated stricter calls from the Indian authorities to regulate content including hiring local nodal officers, and worked to secure a peer-to-peer payments license for WhatsApp messaging app.
Facebook had nearly 450 million users in India as of November 2021, while WhatsApp had 563 million users.
Meta will work on a transition plan over the next few weeks and Vice President for Asia Pacific, Dan Neary, would “soon” be in India and host an all-hands meeting, Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President of the global business group at Meta, said in an internal message to staff.
(Reporting by Chris Thomas and Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru and Munsif Vengattil and Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi, Jan Harvey and Arun Koyyur)