20VC: Meta CMO Alex Schultz on The Crucible Moments Scaling Facebook to 1BN Users, Turning Facebook Reels Into a Monetisation Engine, Competing Against TikTok and SNAP, Coming Out in the World of Tech; The Challenges and What Needs to Change

Posted on 6th March 2023 by Harry

Alex Schultz is the Chief Marketing Officer and VP of Analytics for Meta (formerly Facebook), leading Marketing, Analytics, and Internationalization. Previously, Mark Zuckerberg stood up and said, “Facebook would not be a BN user company without Alex”. At Meta, Alex has pioneered the integration of product and direct response marketing at Meta and helped launch many of the company’s most impactful products and initiatives. Alex is gay and is the executive sponsor of Facebook’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group.

In Today’s Episode with Alex Schultz We Discuss:

1. From Paper Planes to CMO of Facebook:

  • How Alex started his career in the world of paper planes and how that led to his getting a role at an early eBay? What are 1-2 of his biggest lessons from eBay?
  • How did the role at Facebook come about in 2008? Why did he decide to join the early Facebook?
  • What does Alex know now that he wishes he had known when he started his time at Facebook?

2. The Secret to Scaling to 1 Billion Users:

  • Mark Zuckerberg has said that “Facebook would not be a billion-user company without Alex”. So what does Alex believe are the 1-2 biggest needle movers in FB scaling to 1 billion users?
  • Why does Alex believe that the best leaders are patiently right?
  • How can management be direct and effective but also show they care and be kind?
  • What have been some of Alex’s biggest lessons on people management across different phases of the company?

3. Crucible Moments in Facebook History:

Facebook Messenger Split:

  • What was the decision-making process behind splitting Messenger from the core Facebook App?
  • What did they do right and well in the split? What mistakes were made?

Rebrand to Meta:

  • Why did Facebook decide it was right to rebrand to Meta?
  • Has the rebrand gone well? How does Alex define success with the rebrand?

Reels vs TikTok vs SNAP:

  • Does Alex believe we are moving away from the social graph and moving to content discovery only?
  • How does Alex feel Reels is doing in the race against TikTok? What have they done well?
  • Why does Alex believe SNAP hasn’t innovated in the way people think and copied Kakao in cases?
  • What is the key to turning Reels into a monetization machine for Facebook?

4. Alex Schultz: The Person and Leader:

  • How was the coming out process for Alex in the tech community?
  • How did his parents respond to the news? What does Alex mean when he says, “everyone has to mourn their own version of your future self”?
  • Why when he moved to the states was Alex advised to go back in the closet?
  • Does Alex feel we have a long way to go in equalizing the playing field both for homosexuality and trans-gender participation?

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