The role will certainly be difficult and busy as it faces high-profile legal challenges on issues such as payments and privacy before the Supreme Court. A few months ago, WhatsApp`s head of Indian payment business, Manesh Mahatme, also resigned to join Amazon India. Facebook-owned WhatsApp appears to be adapting after the government`s recent warning about the messaging platform`s inability to curb the spread of fake news. After some hesitation, the brass platform on Monday appointed Komal Lahiri as India`s complaints commissioner. The company is now also looking for its Indian General Counsel to advise it on «regulatory and procedural» matters. Netflix`s Ashish Chandra gets first and best legal job at WhatsApp India Chandra has been chief legal officer at Netflix since March 2018 – which recently added an internal IP vertical with Priyanka Chaudhari – after leaving Snapdeal. Between 2005 and 2010, he served as Legal Counsel and Corporate Secretary at eBay India, then joined Star TV Network as Assistant Legal Vice President until 2012, Reliance Jio Infocomm as Vice President and General Counsel (Media and Technology) until 2014 and Snapdeal as Group Legal Counsel from 2014 to 2017. The departures follow the departure of Meta`s Indian boss, Ajit Mohan, who resigned this month after four years in the post to join rival Snap Inc (SNAP. NEW DELHI, Nov 15 (Reuters) – WhatsApp`s head in India, Abhijit Bose, and Meta Platforms Inc. (META. India`s director of public policy, Rajiv Aggarwal, has resigned, a meta-spokesperson said Tuesday. The main responsibilities of the Deputy General Counsel, whose position corresponds to the country`s General Counsel, will be to manage a portfolio of disputes, including litigation arising from regulatory matters, intellectual property, confidentiality, integrity, telecommunications and encryption.
According to WhatsApp, the role could include the flexibility to adapt to changing organizational priorities and needs, among others. Ashish Chandra, General Counsel of Netflix India, has joined WhatsApp as Associate General Counsel (GC) India, making him the messaging giant`s first in-house legal counsel in India. «I would like to thank Abhijit Bose for his extraordinary contributions as the first head of WhatsApp in India. His entrepreneurial drive has helped our team deliver new services that have benefited millions of individuals and businesses. There is so much more WhatsApp can do for India and we look forward to continuing to help drive India`s digital transformation,» Will Cathcart, Head of WhatsApp, said in a statement. The position is believed to match the country`s chief legal officer, although companies in India usually have a senior legal advisor as the highest legal position. «We can say that this position is the same as that of a WhatsApp legal director in India,» he told ET. This comes less than a week after Meta announced its biggest layoffs to date, cutting around 11,000 jobs worldwide. Earlier this month, Ajit Mohan, the head of Meta in India, resigned from his role. It was soon announced that he would join rival Snap as president for the Asia-Pacific region. A week after Meta`s biggest layoffs, WhatsApp`s head in India, Abhijit Bose, and Meta India director of public policy, Rajiv Aggarwal, have resigned from their posts.
Shivnath Thukral, Director of WhatsApp Public Policy in India, has been appointed Director of Public Policy for all meta-brands in India. WhatsApp`s head in India, Abhijit Bose, and Meta`s head of public policy for the country, Rajiv Aggarwal, both left the social networking company just days after Meta India CEO Ajit Mohan left the company to join rival Snap. Coupled with WhatsApp`s size in the Indian market, these challenges are not expected to diminish. «We remain committed to our users in India and will continue to make a significant contribution to the regulatory process that enables everyone to realize the full potential of India`s digital economy,» Chopra added. Meanwhile, Aggarwal left Meta more than a year after heading its public policy department in the country. He joined Facebook`s own messaging service last month. WhatsApp and Meta have come under fire over the years in India, one of the company`s biggest markets, due to a number of controversies. These included allegations of antitrust conduct, abuse of privacy, and facilitating the spread of fake news that led to election manipulation. Some of the regulatory implications of this situation are still pending in courts across the country.
WhatsApp has more than 563 million users in India, its largest market. Meta confirmed today the departure of the two leaders. The company also announced the appointment of Shivnath Thukral as the country`s director of public policy – to replace Aggarwal, who joined the company from Uber last year. And now the company is going to take care of how to deal with all these issues and more, as well as the day-to-day operation and expansion of the platform, with a reduced staff due to greater redundancy. The company appoints Shivnath Thukral as Director of Public Policy for Meta in India. «We are also announcing the appointment of Shivnath Thukral as Director of Public Policy for Meta in India. Shivnath has been an integral part of our public policy team since 2017. In his new role, Shivnath will define and lead key policy development initiatives across our apps – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – in India. We remain committed to our users in India and will continue to make a significant contribution to the regulatory process that enables everyone to realize the full potential of India`s digital economy,» said Manish Chopra, Director of Partnerships, India – Meta.
A meta-spokesperson said the two releases were not related to the current layoffs. In addition to the loss of employees due to layoffs, Meta has lost a number of key executives. In September, WhatsApp`s director of Indian payments, Manesh Mahatme, also resigned to join Amazon. See: Waqar Younis` Sachin Tendulkar making his debut in a retrospective video Thukral – who will lead political movements for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in the country – has been part of the company`s public policy team since 2017. «WhatsApp has the potential and opportunity to change the world. I hope we maintain our ambition and aggressiveness for impact, oversized and beyond what others think is achievable,» he said in the post. Meta is also amid massive layoffs announced last week that have cut more than 11,000 jobs, or 13 percent of its workforce, as Facebook`s parent company doubles down on Metaverse amid a crumbling ad market and decades of inflation. During Bose`s time at Meta, WhatsApp expanded its user base to more than half a billion users in the country. The instant messaging app has also expanded payments as an integrated service in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) – UPI`s umbrella organisation – from the previous 40 million users to 100 million in April this year.
The payment service was launched in beta in early 2018. Facebook is facing regulatory challenges in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s government has tightened laws for big tech companies. WhatsApp, Meta`s messaging service, has also sought to expand its payment service into a highly competitive market, attracting more established players like Alphabet Inc. O) Google Pay, Paytm (PAYT. NS) and Walmart`s (WMT. N) PhonePe. But the departures of Bose and Aggarwal could not have come at a less opportune time. Rajiv Aggarwal decided to leave his position at Meta to pursue another task. Over the past year, he has played an important role in leading our policy-driven initiatives in areas such as user safety, privacy, and scaling up programs like GOAL to foster digital inclusion in the country. He also led proactive engagement with key policy and regulatory stakeholders. We are grateful for his contributions and wish him all the best for the future,» said Manish Chopra, Director of Partnerships, India, Meta.