Meta India appoints Sandhya Devanathan as country head, to replace Ajit Mohan


NEW DELHI: Two weeks after the departure of former India head Ajit Mohan, Meta has appointed Sandhya Devanathan as its new top executive for the country. In a statement, Meta said Devanathan will transition to her new role as country head of Meta India from 1 January 2023.

Devanathan currently serves as vice-president of gaming for Meta’s Asia-Pacific (APAC) division. In her new role, she will report to Dan Neary, vice-president of Meta’s overall APAC business. Prior to current role, Devanathan served as the country managing director for Singapore and business head for Vietnam.

Devanathan’s appointment follows high-profile exits from the company’s India ventures. On 3 November, Meta announced the departure of erstwhile country head, Ajit Mohan, with immediate effect. On 15 November, the company announced the departure of Abhijit Bose, country head for WhatsApp India, and Rajiv Aggarwal, public policy director for Meta India.

The exits come amid the largest single layoff phase for Meta. On 9 November, Meta’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company will be laying off 11,000 of its employees, or about 13% of its workforce, and freeze all hiring at least until March next year.

“At the start of covid-19, the world rapidly moved online and the surge of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth. Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected,” Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post announcing the company’s decision.

The move closely followed Twitter’s reduction of its workforce by 50%, which saw over 3,700 employees, including nearly its entire India staff, being let go.

On Wednesday, Amazon also announced that it would let go of employees, which as per reports could reach up to 10,000 workers at the company. Dave Limp, senior vice-president of devices at Amazon, said in a blog post that the company will “consolidate” jobs, and that “some roles will no longer be required.”

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