Facebook goes back to the future with Will Easton named ANZ MD

Barely three months after the shock departure of Facebook’s ANZ managing director Stephen Scheeler, Mumbrella can reveal the social media giant is going back to the future with the appointment of former MD Will Easton to the top job.

Will Easton returning to the MD role

Easton, who held the role as MD in Australia for two-and-a-half years before moving to Singapore to become managing director of emerging markets (APAC), will return to the job in September.

The appointment of the Facebook veteran flies in the face of industry rumours which had centred on Yahoo7 CEO Ed Harrison being courted for the role.

Stephen Scheeler took over the reins of the Australia and New Zealand business when Easton moved to Singapore in 2015, but departed the role suddenly in February this year.

MD Stephen Scheeler left his role abruptly in February

The position has been handled on an interim basis by Facebook’s group industry director Paul McCrory.

Dan Neary, Facebook’s vice president (APAC) said the return of Easton to the ANZ leadership role had come after he had grown the social media platform’s presence across the region.

“Will is a highly respected leader within Facebook, having previously led our AUNZ business and more recently, successfully scaling our operations in some of our biggest markets across South East Asia and India,” Neary said.

“I couldn’t be more excited with the announcement that Will Easton will be taking on the role of managing director for ANZ. Australia and New Zealand continue to be very important priorities for Facebook and I am very confident through Will’s leadership and the partnership and support of the local team, that we will continue to add significant incremental value to our users, community and partners.”

Easton was the former head of mobile in Asia Pacific for Google before he joined Facebook.

“After a fantastic few years in Asia, I could not be more excited about returning to Sydney to work with our Australia and New Zealand businesses,” Easton said.

“In such a period of transformational change across the industry, I’m confident Facebook’s continued focus on innovation will add significant incremental value to the people who connect and share via our services, our partners and the broader Australian and New Zealand community.”

Easton returns to the business at a challenging time with questions over transparency, brand safety and viewability the focus for marketers.

His return also comes after damaging internal research was leaked which suggest Facebook targeted teens when they were vulnerable.

Facebook global CMO Gary Briggs will be presenting one of the keynotes at next month’s Mumbrella360. For more details on the program and to book tickets click here.


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