Facebook has announced the appointment of a new CIO Atish Banerjea, who was formerly CIO of NBCUniversal.
Banerjea replaces Tim Campos, who earlier this year announced he was moving on from the social media giant to start a new company.
Banerjea’s appointment comes at an interesting time for the social network. Some media outlets have attributed President-elect Donald Trump’s victory to Facebook, arguing that the company’s news feed spread misinformation. The argument forced Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to denounce the notion that Facebook news content somehow tilted the election a “pretty crazy idea.”
Zuckerberg has also contested the idea that Facebook is a media organisation, calling it a tech company. His comments revived the debate about what exactly you call a company that distributes content, some of which is certainly news.
While the debate over exactly what Facebook is rages there’s little doubt NBCUniversal is a media enterprise. While working as CIO there from January 2013 until September, Banerjea used digital technologies to drive change. Banerjea was responsible for improving the media company’s help desk, increased email inbox capacities, and upgraded its mobile and desktop devices. He also upgraded the company’s infrastructure and hired a significant infusion of new IT talent.
“Just a couple of years ago, the NBCUniversal technology organisation was largely a back-office IT group that was not very well-connected with business unit leadership,” Banerjea wrote in a previous article. “Service levels reflected this disconnect, which had resulted from years of underinvestment. IT needed to be re-positioned as a business partner that could help move the company’s strategic agenda forward.”
Banerjea also partnered with the ad sales team to consolidate TV and digital platforms into one portfolio and invested in data analytics to help boost top-line revenue and profitability.
Data, analytics and digital capabilities are Facebook’s sweet spot, as Banerjea takes over a fast-running IT department. Campos, who joined Facebook in 2010, instituted a global IT support service that includes video conferencing infrastructure, a custom-built CRM system and data analytics for the company’s advertisers. Campos also helped build performance management and recruiting infrastructure as well as “business applications that help our data centers and finance organizations scale their impact through technology and not burdensome overhead,” Campos wrote on Facebook in August.